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Canada Scraps F-35 Purchase  
User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1396 posts, RR: 22
Posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 12345 times:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/...the-ejector-seat-on-f-35-purchase/

"The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead."

Cal   


*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
148 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 12339 times:

About fricking time. Hopefully public works and DND will put out a call for contract bids ASAP.


No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlinekrisyyz From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 12329 times:

Politically, it's a disaster but I'm glad they pulled the plug. I personally think the Super Hornet is the most viable and available option. While not a 5 Generation fighter, the F-18E/F would be cost effective and it's twin engine design would be an asset on long-range sorties.


Interesting comparison of Canada's options and potential adversaries.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11...-potential-adversaries-in-the-sky/

Edited to add this link.


KrisYYZ

[Edited 2012-12-06 18:06:17]

User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12302 times:

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 2):
the F-18E/F would be cost effective and it's twin engine design would be an asset on long-range sorties.

So would a Bombardier business jet with weapon pylons, probably be cheaper to operate and we'd be supporting the Canadian economy. Who cares about our pilots though, who'd be lit-up by SAMs from hundreds of miles away.  


User currently offlinekrisyyz From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12292 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 4):
So would a Bombardier business jet with weapon pylons, probably be cheaper to operate and we'd be supporting the Canadian economy. Who cares about our pilots though, who'd be lit-up by SAMs from hundreds of miles away.

Well the F-22 is not an option, at the moment. Getting some Super hornets as an interim replacement for the CF-18 until the F-35 costs are reduced, and its effectiveness is proven would be a smart option in my opinion. I would prefer we buy the best and most capable 5th Gen fighter for our brave men and women, but what other options are out there? What's your suggestion? The Eurofighter? The Gripen is a great little plane, but I don't think it would work for us.

KrisYYZ


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12284 times:

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 2):
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/11...-potential-adversaries-in-the-sky/

That is terrible. The factual data is inaccurate for most of the aircraft such as
1. they have included the F-22 in the potential options area
2. they have the Super Hornet as a two seater only,
3. claim the Rafale is a stealth aircraft
4. apparently the Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale can supercruise but the F-35 can't
5. have incorrect hard points for at least the Typhoon and the F-35
6. and best of all, have a range figure for the J-20 without having an internal fuel load or engine thrust figure.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12269 times:

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 5):
Getting some Super hornets as an interim replacement

Lets see the costs for these "throw-away" fighters, not to mention the price for pilot training, equipment, maintenance training, hangars, technical manuals etc, etc. You don't see the big picture.

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 5):
I would prefer we buy the best and most capable 5th Gen fighter for our brave men and women, but what other options are out there? What's your suggestion?

The F-35. Its the future of the US air fleet and as our closest ally its the most logical choice. We could fly into any airbase in the US or Europe and not have to bring tones and tones of parts and equipment with us because they'll be available from an international pool of contractors. Can't do that with the Super Hornet or Eurofighter. People just don't understand that in the long run the F-35 is still the cheapest choice, no one has done a cost comparison of the other fighters. They see the massive cost of the F-35 as a stand alone price, I want to see the cost of operating the Super Hornet and Eurofighter for 30 years when everyone has already retired them.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12260 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 6):
That is terrible. The factual data is inaccurate

The media in Canada is generally retarded. Its more journalistic sensationalism than organizations that should provide you research-based facts and let you make up your own mind.


User currently offlinekrisyyz From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12248 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 6):
That is terrible. The factual data is inaccurate for most of the aircraft

For sure, not to mention the pic of the super hornet is of an F-18.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 7):
Lets see the costs for these "throw-away" fighters, not to mention the price for pilot training, equipment, maintenance training, hangars, technical manuals etc, etc. You don't see the big picture.

I wouldn't consider them "throw-away" fighters, but I get your point. The RAAF has taken a similar approach to their fighter purchase. While the F-35 will be a great plane, some day, the motives of the decision are clearly political. The government could not go to the Canadian people and explain why the costs have gone out of control, even after they said their estimates are sound. The CF-18s have to go, the F-35 seems to be out of the picture for a while so we need new planes to keep our Air Force capable. I never said the Super hornet would be the best choice for Canada, but it is the most viable option given the fiscal and political climate. Yes, it is sad that politics will override operational needs and the opinion of the RCAF brass, but that's reality. Hopefully something can be done the salvage the deal, but I find it highly improbable.

KrisYYZ


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12238 times:

It seems presumptuous that Canada would be allowed to buy Super Hornets at this time.

User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12229 times:

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 9):
Hopefully something can be done the salvage the deal, but I find it highly improbable.

I haven't seen any official announcements yet, just more bullshit from media from unnamed sources.

[Edited 2012-12-06 19:07:19]

User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12215 times:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...vernment-fighter-jets.html?cmp=rss

Government says not so fast.

Honestly I hope Canada just runs off and does something else. Sick of hearing all the whining about this subject from there.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12207 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 12):
Honestly I hope Canada just runs off and does something else. Sick of hearing all the whining about this subject from there.

Time to make this entire fighter procurement subject a top-secret issue in Canada. Don't announce anything until the purchase contract, for whatever, is signed. The media has already showed that it can't report facts on this topic so we need to shut them up.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 12168 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 7):
I want to see the cost of operating the Super Hornet and Eurofighter for 30 years when everyone has already retired them.
Affordability for the U.S. and our allies is challenged because unit prices are about double what they were at program start and with new forecasts that the aircraft may cost substantially more to operate and maintain over the life cycle than the legacy aircraft they replace.


Further, while the Department is still refining cost projections for operating and supporting future JSF fleets, cost forecasts have increased as the program matures and more data becomes available. Current JSF life-cycle cost estimates are considerably higher than the legacy aircraft it will replace; this has major implications for future demands on military operating and support budgets and plans for recapitalizing fighter forces.
- GAO Report April 2011, GAO-11-325

powerslide you keep claiming the F-35 is the cheapest alternative - which is at odds with many respectable sources like the US GAO and others. Do you have a respectable source to back that up?


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 12157 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 14):

Again you fail to understand my post. First of all, this doesn't apply to the US and second of all, that report from 2011 doesn't address the issues of Canucks operating, funding and upgrading an airframe no longer supported by the US - a la super hornet.


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 12102 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 15):
Again you fail to understand my post. First of all, this doesn't apply to the US and second of all, that report from 2011 doesn't address the issues of Canucks operating, funding and upgrading an airframe no longer supported by the US - a la super hornet.

Especially when the supply chain is no longer present to support aircraft; it gets VERY expensive very fast for even the smallest of spare parts, and your serviceability suffers greatly. You need to have the supplier and all of the sub-component suppliers continue to support the aircraft with spare parts and upgrades throughout the life and use of the aircraft.

One can look at the ongoing issues with supporting the CF DHC-5 fleet as an example; of the 5 we operate, realistically, only 1 is serviceable at all times and the rest are all grounded for lack of spare parts. We are lucky to have 2 serviceable on a good day. The reason being is that practically all of the spare parts manufacturers have quit making the parts needed to support the aircraft and every part becomes a special order for what is essentially a unique variant of an already unsupported aircraft. And it doesn't matter if you have the rights to the aircraft; what matters is the sub-component manufacturers; for example, will Dowty continue to make the landing gear? Will Hamilton-Standard continue to make the propellers?


User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 12091 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 13):
The media has already showed that it can't report facts on this topic so we need to shut them up.

I'm sure lack of information on the subject amongst the general public will make procurement processes much cheaper.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 12057 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 15):
Again you fail to understand my post.
Quoting powerslide (Reply 7):
People just don't understand that in the long run the F-35 is still the cheapest choice, no one has done a cost comparison of the other fighters.

How did I not understand what you said? Or help me understand you, if this is not what you mean. But I think I do understand, because you have often made that same claim - without any credible source to back it up by the way.

Assuming I did understand you correctly, the United States Government Accountability Office did study this and made a comparison and published the clear conclussion. They are one of the most thorough and respected unbiased sources anywhere. They are not going to bash a US Government program for fun. When they say the F-35 is significantly more expensive than all legacy aircraft it is slated to replace - in all metrics, that includes the Super Hornet, F-16 and F-15 among others - all of which are still in production today and fully supported and will be well into the future. I don't understand why you and ThePointblank, try to spin things, as if support would suddenly dry up.

Even after production stops, support is still available, that's part of the contract in many cases. If it's a competition between you, ThePointblank Vs. The United States Government Accountability Office, I think you lose.

If you want to say that for Canada, this US GAO report is not applicable, and that the F-35 becomes cheaper for Canada over the US Legacy fighters for some reasons, I ask, what are those reasons? What is your source?

I think it is reasonable to say that any extra expenses for Canada specific purposes would apply to any aircraft.

For the USA the F-35 is the most expensive choice according to the United States Government Accountability Office. Why would it be any different for Canada?


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 12029 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 18):
When they say the F-35 is significantly more expensive than all legacy aircraft it is slated to replace - in all metrics, that includes the Super Hornet, F-16 and F-15 among others - all of which are still in production today and fully supported and will be well into the future. I don't understand why you and ThePointblank, try to spin things, as if support would suddenly dry up.

F-16's line is about to be wrapped up; there hasn't been a major order from a customer for years. And with the USAF and European Partner Air Forces about to dispose of their F-16's, the largest users of the F-16, the support network and incentive for a suppliers to continue to supply spare parts will shrink. Upgrades will also more costly as a smaller group of user(s) will be able to develop and pay for upgrades.

Super Hornet: The line is expected to finish the last Super Hornet in about 2 years time. The USN will then plan to start disposing of the Super Hornet fleet by 2020. Then there will be no major user of the Super Hornet, which would be a serviceability nightmare for anyone still using the Hornet.

F-15: the line also has very minimal orders right now. Production will wrap up probably in a few years. And the biggest user, the USAF will start disposing of F-15's in a few years time. What's going to happen 20-30 years from now? Will there still be support?

It's now what is being supported NOW, it is what is expected to be supported 20-30 years from now. Will Super Hornet be supported? How about F-15 or F-16? It is very likely that all three will be museum pieces by then.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 18):
Even after production stops, support is still available, that's part of the contract in many cases. If it's a competition between you, ThePointblank Vs. The United States Government Accountability Office, I think you lose.

No, support is dependent on the suppliers of individual parts. If there is a big enough customer base, suppliers will continue to support the various bits of the aircraft. If there isn't a big enough customer base, they won't continue to support it.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 11987 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
No

If you could provide credible sources for all you opinions, that would be nice for once. Something at least as credible as the US GAO would be great. Can't wait.


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1596 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 11889 times:

Quoting TheCol (Reply 1):
About fricking time.

      Finally Canada has come to it's senses. Some Super Hornets will do the job for much less taxpayers money.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 6):
Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale can supercruise but the F-35 can't



First the Gripen and Rafale can't supercruise, and if you describe the marginal F-35 "supercruise capability" as such then it's up to you.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 11794 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 21):
Finally Canada has come to it's senses. Some Super Hornets will do the job for much less taxpayers money.

We aren't buying any fat hornets or any other useless pieces of garbage from Eurocanard land. So far its still a Canadian F-35 buy.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30992 posts, RR: 86
Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11739 times:
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Once the US DoD starts to retire F-15s, F-16s and F-18s would they not go to long-term storage so they can be scavenged for spare parts like many other types have been?

So even if the primary suppliers stop making new parts, parts from salvage should still be available for a fair bit of time afterwards.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11727 times:

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 9):
The government could not go to the Canadian people and explain why the costs have gone out of control, even after they said their estimates are sound. The CF-18s have to go, the F-35 seems to be out of the picture for a while so we need new planes to keep our Air Force capable. I never said the Super hornet would be the best choice for Canada, but it is the most viable option given the fiscal and political climate.

I think that's a great summary of where things are at.

If F35 was available at the promised time and on the promised budget it'd be a better purchase, but that just isn't where we are at. I think the SH will fulfill most roles the RCAF has short of sailing off to Armageddon, and I kind of doubt they will be doing that.

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 9):
Yes, it is sad that politics will override operational needs and the opinion of the RCAF brass, but that's reality.

To me, it's sad that defense officials and contractors cannot discipline themselves to stay within the schedules and budgets they commit to. It's particularly upsetting in the case of F35 because they went through the exercise of producing flying proof of concepts but still have managed to be horrendously late and over budget.

The "fiscal and political climate" of Canada does not allow for such horrendous overruns, but the US's largely does, because foreign entities are still willing to by US debt at meager returns and with not much hope of being repaid long term.

I'm sad the taxpayers of Canada aren't getting what they were promised, but I'm glad the rest of the partners as well as the world-wide defense industry is getting some feedback that there is a point where their products just aren't affordable (see F22, US101. A400M) and the customer will indeed walk away.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineNewark727 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 1360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11810 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
The "fiscal and political climate" of Canada does not allow for such horrendous overruns, but the US's largely does, because foreign entities are still willing to by US debt at meager returns and with not much hope of being repaid long term.

That's only half the story, I'd say. Yes, the U.S. has an amazing ability to go into debt, but it seems to me that defense contracts have a unique position that makes the country much more willing to keep going into debt for them. They're one of the least reproachful kinds of pork, they fall under the "tough on defense" banner, and there are very few options besides the usual players for getting the capability we feel we require, so there's less pressure to deliver something that actually works on time and on budget. But that's another thread.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5604 posts, RR: 8
Reply 25, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11991 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 18):
How did I not understand what you said? Or help me understand you, if this is not what you mean. But I think I do understand, because you have often made that same claim - without any credible source to back it up by the way.

Assuming I did understand you correctly, the United States Government Accountability Office did study this and made a comparison and published the clear conclussion.

I think you are mixing up the review of historical costs and what future costs will be. Yes the past historic costs of the F-18Super Hornet are lower, even adjusted for inflation, but what will be the "going forward cost" of an expired platform? The GAO report is accurate and no one is disputing that, what is being argued is the fact that into the future the costs of the F-18/Super Hornet and maintaining it and keeping it competitive with new threats will rise substantially.

As a comparison, if you intended to win races for years to come would you invest in and buy a race care model that was several years old and did not have all the engine and aerodynamic advance etc., and was about to go out of normal production because it is a cheaper platform to own? (I understand that car races are substantially different in that it is relatively easy to find replacement parts and/or to have them manufactured.)
Remember the intent is that you have to actually win the races you enter.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
It's now what is being supported NOW, it is what is expected to be supported 20-30 years from now. Will Super Hornet be supported? How about F-15 or F-16? It is very likely that all three will be museum pieces by then.

This is the issue.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 26, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12005 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
So even if the primary suppliers stop making new parts, parts from salvage should still be available for a fair bit of time afterwards.

If this was true then why do our C/D hornets sit idle for months on end due to lack of available parts? Many of the parts are already dry and basic things like fasteners and screws are no where to be found because no one makes them anymore. Larger parts need to be removed from the aircraft and rebuilt, there aren't replacements. Stocks are quickly drying up with no resupply.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
To me, it's sad that defense officials and contractors cannot discipline themselves to stay within the schedules and budgets they commit to.

The government has already said they've budgeted $9B for the purchase of 65 jets and they will not go over this number. The operating costs haven't changed, $20B for 20 years, $30B for 30 or $40B for 40. The MSM likes to use the larger numbers because it sells their garbage print and they get more hits on their websites.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3555 posts, RR: 26
Reply 27, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12132 times:
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and then there's this new contract for more F/A 18's by the US Navy
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...ing-fighters-idUSL1E8MUHQF20121130

I look at all these comments about unsupported a/d because the lines are at low rates or potentially closing. It's a self serving argument.. look at the other a/c that are part of the core fleet B-52, B1, soon C-17.. many planes fly long after the line is closed. The spares come from several sources, new built contracted and recycled. I am not convinced that maintaining portions of the existing fleets will be more expensive than buying the F-35.

While I disagree with Fanboy frequently in the over zealous repeating his opinion as fact, I tend to agree that for Canada and only Canada, at this juncture the F-35 may be the cheapest answer... A very expensive cheap answer, but with the monies spent and the state of their planes, converting to a new path will be expensive. The problem will be in 10-12 years there will be another 'must have' on the drawing board and they will have tapped out the resources to buy it. So it will be skipped, the F-35 flown into the dirt, and we repeat the process.

On the other hand a deferring the F-35 for 8-10 years would bring them a more robust, reliable product that may have a longer useful life.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 28, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 12039 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 23):
Once the US DoD starts to retire F-15s, F-16s and F-18s would they not go to long-term storage so they can be scavenged for spare parts like many other types have been?

So even if the primary suppliers stop making new parts, parts from salvage should still be available for a fair bit of time afterwards.

A few points on this.

1. It assumes the US won't effectively exhaust the life of every part as it winds down the operation of F-18E's. They will stop buying new parts and use their spares. I doubt many would be there for other nations to have.

2. The USN will keep all those surplus parts around to service the Growler which will have a long service life and is not likely to sell many of them off for a long time for that reason.

3. You are assuming that the US wants to do what is effectively a favor for Canada. Frankly I don't see why the US would want to continue to subsidize Canada going cheap on defense, particularly given that reducing the F-35 buy size impacts other defense goals for the US negatively. If Canada can play the "national interest" card and effectively opt out of being able to contribute in a major way to NATO than I see no reason for the US not to do the same and simply make only the F-35 an option for Canada because it suits US interest. That can be a two way street after all. Canada is supposed to be a part of NATO and thus has interest beyond arctic patrols after all.


User currently offlineboeingfixer From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 29, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 12048 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 27):
If this was true then why do our C/D hornets sit idle for months on end due to lack of available parts?

What C/D Hornets!? If you're going to push opinion as fact, then at least get one fact straight. We have A/B Hornets.

We are in desperate need of replacing our CF-18 fleet and my 'opinion' is that we should at least get the Super Hornet as a stop gap measure much like the Australians did.

I'm also of the opinion that the RCAF should be looking at a twin engine fighter. Nothing against the F-35 but I personally know someone who ejected from two CF-104's in Germany. In his experience a twin would have at least brought home one of the aircraft. Although this analogy is slightly flawed because engine design has advanced to a point where failures are rare, we will, at some point, loose at least 1 or more F-35's due to in flight engine failure.

Cheers,

John



Cheers, John YYC
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 30, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 12019 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
I look at all these comments about unsupported a/d because the lines are at low rates or potentially closing. It's a self serving argument.. look at the other a/c that are part of the core fleet B-52, B1, soon C-17.. many planes fly long after the line is closed.


Many planes were operated for decades after their production had stopped. It's standard procedure.

P-3
KC-135
T-38
U-2
F-4
F-14
Jaguar
Tornado
B-2
B-1
B-52
SR-71

and on and on and on

Airlines also operate many types well after their production ceases.

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
I tend to agree that for Canada and only Canada, at this juncture the F-35 may be the cheapest answer..

I haven't understood yet what makes Canada different in this regard to the USA. Why would F-15s be more expensive for Canada to operate than F-35s, when the reverse is true in the USA? I don't understand what makes Canada so different.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3555 posts, RR: 26
Reply 31, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 11946 times:
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Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 31):
I haven't understood yet what makes Canada different in this regard to the USA. Why would F-15s be more expensive for Canada to operate than F-35s, when the reverse is true in the USA? I don't understand what makes Canada so different.

It's just an opinion, but it looks like they dug themselves a hole that will be costly to fill no matter what they select.. while other countries appear to have diverse fleets Canada appears to have only an aging single workhorse. So do they buy something else for a 2018-2030 usage, then go looking again? or bite the bullet, break the bank and upgrade in one jump. in that scenario, it may be cheaper in the long run.

That said, I see they can keep the old planes operational until 2020.. then what? In a perfect world they would be a transition a/c, and if the F-35 proved out and initial costs as well as operations costs came down.. have at it.

Still in all this I think the program is a disaster and the US will pay dearly whether they learn a procurement lesson or not.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 32, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 11941 times:

Didn't the Aussies just bought some SH?

Maybe our Canadian friends should not look to the US Navy to get spare parts if they decide to buy the F-18 SH.
Perhaps they can get together with their Australian brethren and collaborate on a long term maintenance program and contract it directly with the OEM (Boeing). You'll get better service maybe at a higher price. Don't know how much it costs to get spare parts from the US government with their own mark-ups.

bt.



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5604 posts, RR: 8
Reply 33, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 11917 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 32):
That said, I see they can keep the old planes operational until 2020.. then what? In a perfect world they would be a transition a/c, and if the F-35 proved out and initial costs as well as operations costs came down.. have at it.

To be honest I think this is what will happen. As is often the case with politicians, if you can't make a safe decision (i.e. one that has no blow-back for you) then do nothing really and keep doing what was started by someone else and blame "that guy". In this case the politicians could look "wise" by delaying the purchase to wait and see. And leave the problem and blow-back for some one else.

Quoting kanban (Reply 32):
Still in all this I think the program is a disaster and the US will pay dearly whether they learn a procurement lesson or not.

  
Sadly I couldn't agree more.  

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 34, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11910 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 33):
Didn't the Aussies just bought some SH?

Sure, but Australia has a reasonable plan moving forward which will see the newest of their SH's be turned into EA-18's to support F-35 operations going forward. That is a bit different plan than just buying a bunch of E models and saying you are done. My guess is Australia will eventually use the 12 non EA-18 models to support the EA-18 fleet that will have a much longer operational life.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 35, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11884 times:

Perhaps Canada can consider some UCAVS like the Global Hawk or Predator C and ask the manufacturers what they can have available in 2020 such as the Northrop's X-47C or Boeing's Phantom Ray, or a more advanced Gerneral Atoms Predator C version.

For Patrols, I think UCAVS make much more sense and are way cheaper than anything, not even close. They can be equipped with the same radars and sensors as the F-35 and other armed aircraft.
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/07/21/uavs-next-step-for-aesa-radar/


For Canada's manned missions, they can keep the current fleet up and running till 2020, creating some time before a decision is necessary. The strategy may be using advanced UCAVs and cruise missiles as the sharp tip of the spear in any initial attack, the sending in non stealthy newer planes, as bomb trucks using stand off weapons, like Raytheon’s AGM-154 JSOW, Boeing’s AGM-84K SLAM-ER, Lockheed Martin’s AGM-158 JASSM, or the Taurus KEPD 350.
http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...se-Missiles-for-its-Hornets-05370/

Those stand off weapons have ranges greater than most SAMS, so stealth is not really needed. I personally don't think you need to fly a manned strike mission into enemy territory anymore with the emergence of UCAVS and long range stand off missiles that can be carried by current aircraft. like the F-18, unless the target is deep in Siberia or some other very large land mass, in which case an F-35 would not have the range either.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 36, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11858 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 34):
Quoting kanban (Reply 32):
Still in all this I think the program is a disaster and the US will pay dearly whether they learn a procurement lesson or not.


Sadly I couldn't agree more.

I don't think it is fantastic by any stretch but I don't think it is any worse than pretty much every other major aviation/complex military system being bought anywhere else. No one is bringing major projects in on time and on budget. Eurofighter, Rafale all had big overruns. The overruns for the PAK-FA will be huge as well. Hell, the Russians have started and abandoned more aircraft programs than I can remember.

I don't object to ridicule for the defense purchasing process. I just think it is folly to hold out any one program or one nation when doing it. Almost all major programs in all nations seem to have the same problems.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 37, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11833 times:

I think UCAVS are far more of a realistic option than they are being given credit for. Especially for a vast country like Canada. The link below has a good run down on various UCAV programs.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/cv-ucavs-the-return-of-ucas-03557/


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 38, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11843 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 28):
The problem will be in 10-12 years there will be another 'must have' on the drawing board and they will have tapped out the resources to buy it.

Looking at our Air Force fleet, we generally keep things around for a while, long, long while. Our current Hornets should have been retired years ago but because the Canadian public is cheap, and doesn't want to increase the defense budget to bring us closer to the NATO GDP average, we have to make due with old equipment for extended periods of time. This adds costs that the public is ignorant/blind to.

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 30):
What C/D Hornets!? If you're going to push opinion as fact, then at least get one fact straight. We have A/B Hornets.

We have A/B hornets that had upgrades which make them equivalent to at least C/D models. Besides two more wing stations and slightly upgraded avionics they out perform the Fat Hornet in combat time and time again in joint exercises.

Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 30):
we will, at some point, loose at least 1 or more F-35's due to in flight engine failure.

We lost at least 1 or more CF-18's due to engine(s) failure as well. The Navy and Marines have lost F-18's due to engine failures. Statistics show that its not any safer having two engines over one with todays technology. There is nothing about Canada that makes us special to operating a single engine jet fighter. Australia, Japan and Norway all have great distances to cover without airfields and that didn't stop them from choosing the F-35.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 39, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 11805 times:

I will not comment on the many pro and con arguments made in this thread, since there are far too many, some reasonable, many not (those being made by people with an apparently vested interest).

But I would like to point out and/or re-iterate, as I have said in several threads around this topic;

- large-scale government/military procurement programs are inherently political;
- the military is subservient to the civilian authority (thankfully);
- the military can make procurement recommendations, it is the duty of the controlling authority to review same;
- after review the controlling authority will approve/deny and potentially make modifications with a nod to fiscal prudence, you can only have the military you can afford;
- the military have to make the best they can with what they get.

Just because an item on the shelf is the shiniest does not imply you are going to get it.

Recent Canadian military acquisition programs have been a fiasco (or series):
- NSA
- FWSAR
- Submarines

Ergo, does anyone have any confidence that the Canadian military have any competence in the procurement area ? Particularly when there is good evidence that uniforms have deliberately deceived the civilian authorities about real costs (at least w.r.t. F-35).

I have stated several times that for Canada's defensive needs, Super Hornet makes more sense. 65-75 frames, with perhaps a dozen pre-wired for possible Growler conversions, should an expeditionary need be foreseen. For Arctic surveillance, a small cadre of Global Hawks is possibly a better proposition. The Russians will not be coming over the pole, that is 1950s-style thinking.

A lot of people are wringing their hands about the classic Hornets running out of time circa 2020. The Aussies have recently launched a study concerning another SLEP to keep their classics going well into the 20s. Perhaps we should be talking to them as opposed to LockMart.

All-in-all, it has been a good day !   



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 40, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11738 times:

I would like to point out that the Conservatives have the majority government, thus making the opposition irrelevant. The only failure has been politically and in the media. Meanwhile, the F-35 has been quietly meeting performance requirements and testing will soon be completed. Jets are rolling off the line while the politicians and media bicker just for the sake of spilling ink on toilet newspapers. Reality is, the contracts will be signed a year before the next election and then it would be too late. Civies can think what they want is best for Canada, but their "expert" opinions just fall on deaf ears. Move along now....

User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4837 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11732 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 12):

Honestly I hope Canada just runs off and does something else.

Yeah.....bring on the Silent Eagle!   .

http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__...acecombat/images/8/80/F-15SE-1.jpg



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 42, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11728 times:

Quoting Devilfish (Reply 42):
Yeah.....bring on the Silent Eagle! .

It can be yours today if you want to write a check for R&D that has the word billion somewhere on it.


User currently offlinekrisyyz From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1593 posts, RR: 0
Reply 43, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11714 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 24):
To me, it's sad that defense officials and contractors cannot discipline themselves to stay within the schedules and budgets they commit to. It's particularly upsetting in the case of F35 because they went through the exercise of producing flying proof of concepts but still have managed to be horrendously late and over budget.

That's a very valid point. While the big jump in technology is obviously challenging for L.M , a 60% jump in acquisition costs is simply too much to bare at this point.

Quoting tugger (Reply 26):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
It's now what is being supported NOW, it is what is expected to be supported 20-30 years from now. Will Super Hornet be supported? How about F-15 or F-16? It is very likely that all three will be museum pieces by then.

This is the issue.

That's true, but IF (and that may be a big IF) the RCAF goes with the super-hornet, wouldn't a long-term maintenance/part supply deal be included in the purchase?

Quoting powerslide (Reply 13):

Time to make this entire fighter procurement subject a top-secret issue in Canada. Don't announce anything until the purchase contract, for whatever, is signed. The media has already showed that it can't report facts on this topic so we need to shut them up.

There is no doubt that the capabilities of our armed forces is a national security issue, and the media does play the political card when reporting on government procurement deals. But to make make such purchases classified is something that I don't agree with. It is tax dollars after all, and we do have a government that prides itself on being fiscally responsible. What's the threshold? How much of a delay, what level of cost escalation would be reasonable for a project like the F35? Telling defence contractors that we will pay whatever it costs and wait for as long as it takes wouldn't be a responsible move in my humble opinion.

KrisYYZ


User currently offlineDevilfish From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4837 posts, RR: 1
Reply 44, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11731 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 43):
It can be yours today if you want to write a check for R&D that has the word billion somewhere on it.

I'll pass. I think Boeing is trying mightily to convince South Korea to write that check for them.....  .

http://defense-update.com/20120914_silent_eagle.html



"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 45, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11731 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 43):
It can be yours today if you want to write a check for R&D that has the word billion somewhere on it.

It's still cheaper than the F-35. I'm not going to back up this statement or make any research into it. I'm an "expert" in the journalistic world so my word can't be refuted. If you are military then you are ordered to say so, if you are in the industry then you are bought out.

  


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 46, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11716 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 41):
I would like to point out that the Conservatives have the majority government, thus making the opposition irrelevant. The only failure has been politically and in the media. Meanwhile, the F-35 has been quietly meeting performance requirements and testing will soon be completed. Jets are rolling off the line while the politicians and media bicker just for the sake of spilling ink on toilet newspapers. Reality is, the contracts will be signed a year before the next election and then it would be too late. Civies can think what they want is best for Canada, but their "expert" opinions just fall on deaf ears. Move along now....

Simply.....breathtaking (in arrogance quotient).

From what I've read, here, there, and elsewhere, testing, due to that funky "concurrence" word, will continue to about 2016. "Reality is, contracts will be signed a year before the next election" - since the contracts have not been signed (and might not be), how can it be "reality" ? Or is there a special definition for reality ? Also, political "reality" might cause Harpo et al to hold off until after the next election. Committing so much after boosting our deficit to >$50B after the Liberals wrestled the deficit to the ground might not sit too well with those pesky civvies, who, at the end of the day, sign your paycheque.

With the coming "rightsizing" of the military (civvies taking money away from the uniforms), a lot of uniforms might be moving along now ... to the unemployment line.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 47, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11681 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 47):
From what I've read, here, there, and elsewhere, testing, due to that funky "concurrence" word, will continue to about 2016.

Concurrence on the F-35 should be an interesting thing. From what I understand the majority of the changes really are going to be in the software which should be a plug and play type thing. There is a big risk if there are structural issues that have to be resolved but I don't think that is going to be the case.

Testing and IOC are a strange subject here as well. The Marines clearly think they could start basic combat ops a lot sooner than 2016. The Air Force is going to wait for more capabilities to declare IOC. I am not sure what the "right" answer is but the EF could not do a lot of things when IOC was declared. By 2016 you should have the nearly the full weapons universe open to use on the F-35. I believe the Marines will go into service with JDAM and GBU-15 plus air to air weapons.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3555 posts, RR: 26
Reply 48, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11608 times:
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Quoting BigJKU (Reply 37):
Almost all major programs in all nations seem to have the same problems.

Sadly true, however it is a result of sloppy or hurried design and procurement practices. Just because it appears to be a trend doesn't mean that we should accept it as a given.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 49, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 11601 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 49):

Sadly true, however it is a result of sloppy or hurried design and procurement practices. Just because it appears to be a trend doesn't mean that we should accept it as a given.

Honestly I am not sure a more measured approach would save money. You could spend more time pinning down the exact scope of work and cost but I am not sure that it would not cost more money in the end because there will always be unknowns.

I think that the military actually has become pretty good at procuring items that lend themselves to be competitively bid. JDAM, JSOW and SDB were all procured at pretty low cost with short development times.

The problem with things like the F-35 is that they are by nature so big that you can't really apply normal purchasing procedures to them. I am not really sure how one improves the process. Getting your contractors to go beyond the X-35/32 level of demonstrators is going to take a ton of money though. And going from demonstrator level aircraft to full up combat ready fly off would probably just double your cost. Sucks but most of the cost is in the avionics and software. Doing that twice is just not practical.


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 50, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 11597 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 31):
Many planes were operated for decades after their production had stopped. It's standard procedure.

P-3
KC-135
T-38
U-2
F-4
F-14
Jaguar
Tornado
B-2
B-1
B-52
SR-71

and on and on and on

However, the biggest difference was there was a large enough customer base to continue support. There are hundreds of P-3's flying around the world, and financially, it makes sense for a supplier to keep building and stocking parts for it. Ditto KC-135, T-38, F-4, Tornado, etc, etc, etc. There is still a large customer base for supplying spare parts.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 29):
1. It assumes the US won't effectively exhaust the life of every part as it winds down the operation of F-18E's. They will stop buying new parts and use their spares. I doubt many would be there for other nations to have.

2. The USN will keep all those surplus parts around to service the Growler which will have a long service life and is not likely to sell many of them off for a long time for that reason.

It is very likely that the USN will try to keep Super Hornets in the boneyard for spare parts until the Growler gets replaced. Otherwise, I would expect a short service life for the Growler anyways, with the introduction of the Next Generation Jammer, which will probably see integration with F-35.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 29):
3. You are assuming that the US wants to do what is effectively a favor for Canada. Frankly I don't see why the US would want to continue to subsidize Canada going cheap on defense, particularly given that reducing the F-35 buy size impacts other defense goals for the US negatively. If Canada can play the "national interest" card and effectively opt out of being able to contribute in a major way to NATO than I see no reason for the US not to do the same and simply make only the F-35 an option for Canada because it suits US interest. That can be a two way street after all. Canada is supposed to be a part of NATO and thus has interest beyond arctic patrols after all.

Indeed. Remember that if we purchase any other fighter other than F-35, we are subject to US DoD FMS fees, which can add on at least 10% to the costs of purchase. As F-35 is a joint development project, there are no FMS fees for partner nations. Basically, the US DoD has final say if a sale goes through.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 51, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 11559 times:

What is not being discussed, and perhaps merits a different thread, is the effect of the entire F-35 program due to the upcoming sequestration of the US Budget in the USA. Many pundits, Senators and Congresspeople say, that the USA will go over the fiscal cliff on January 01 2013, forcing immediate deep mandatory cuts to the Pentagon Budget. I think it'd $50 Billion in 2013 alone.

Since the F-35 is the biggest cash cow in the Pentagon, I wouldn't be surprised if it is also a target, which would spiral down the program even further. IMHO, it's not just Canadians that will take a look at this on the basis of cost.

The Pentagon and Lockheed people making promises and forecasts on behalf of the F-35 program have pretty much lost all credibility in the eyes of many. They've been wrong so many times by such large margins.

I don't think it will be cancelled, but probably delayed and/or cut down to size significantly.


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 11535 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 52):
I don't think it will be cancelled, but probably delayed and/or cut down to size significantly.

Not likely; the USAF has publically stated that they have a requirement for 1,763 F-35's. No less:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/1...heed-fighter-idUKL1E8MT5AV20121130
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...to-f-35-fleet-requirements-379618/

Quote:
Donley says he has heard many alternative plans that call for the USAF to reallocate funding to more urgent priorities or buying fewer F-35s, but that those plans are not feasible. "These are good theoretical discussions, but when you look at where we are in the programme, it makes no sense to have these discussions until about 2025," Donley says. "There is nothing in the near-term about this programme that will change; there is nothing that it will contribute to deficit reduction in the next 10 years, with the exception of its cancellation."

Cancelling the F-35 programme, in Donley's view, is not something that anyone would recommend, he says.

The USAF will offer up other programs other than F-35 to sacrifice.

And F-35's cost's are on the decrease; it is expected that Lot 5 aircraft will cost less than lot 4 aircraft:

Quote:
Details of the expected agreement were not immediately available, but sources familiar with the negotiations said they expected it to include a reduction in the cost for each F-35 fighter jet from the fourth production contract, although the number of jets to be ordered will not increase.

The Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, told Reuters on Wednesday that the two sides were "getting close" to an agreement on the fifth production contract.


User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7391 posts, RR: 5
Reply 53, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 11502 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 39):
Australia, Japan and Norway all have great distances to cover without airfields and that didn't stop them from choosing the F-35.

The Norwegian media frequently site the Canadian F-35 purchase, love reporting on spiriling costs, now that Canadia looks like dropping out, with an election next year and the current govt who support F-35 looking highly unlikely to survive I'm pretty sure the Norwegian procurement will be cancelled. It's a good thing IMO, the Norwegians don't need them, the public opposes the purchase, can't really afford them and shouldn't have let the US govt twist there arms to purchase them.


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 11459 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 54):
The Norwegian media frequently site the Canadian F-35 purchase, love reporting on spiriling costs, now that Canadia looks like dropping out, with an election next year and the current govt who support F-35 looking highly unlikely to survive I'm pretty sure the Norwegian procurement will be cancelled. It's a good thing IMO, the Norwegians don't need them, the public opposes the purchase, can't really afford them and shouldn't have let the US govt twist there arms to purchase them.

However, the reports all need to be taken into context; how much would Super Hornet, Eurofighter, Rafale, etc costs under the same cost assumptions?

Do note that the KPMG report essentially validates the DND's costing assumptions: The acquisition costs are identical at $8.9-billion.

The biggest difference is how the costing for sustainment is calculated; the DND calculated costs over a 20 year life span; KPMG calculated using 42 years. Under these assumptions DND calculates sustainment costs will be $7.3-billion for 20 years, while KPMG says $15.2-billion for 42 years. On operating costs, DND estimates $9-billion for 20 years, whereas the accountancy firm calculates $19.9-billion for 42 years.

So there is no real 'spiraling' costs, the biggest difference is how the costs are calculated and the time frames chosen. If KPMG calculated using 20 years, it is very likely they would have came to same costs as the DND did.

The devil is in the details of the report, and how it is reported. What is a more realistic comparison is to compare costs on an annualized basis so that proper comparisons can be made. 1 Billion dollar per year for sustaining F-35 does not seem out of whack for the backbone component of our air force.

If you ask 5 people a generic question like "how much do the fighters cost?" you'll get 5 answers. Depending on what you want to include, that number can vary widely. The problem is that the opposition wanted to muddy the waters, throw out 3 or 4 different numbers (all of which the government clearly provided at different times in different contexts), all of which appear to be relatively accurate, according to KPMG, and frankly even according to Page. Everything else is just political SPIN, pure and simple.

The problem is it's easier to soundbite the issue to death, but you're painting a misleading picture. My beef with all of this is that people who aren't accounting wonks - like myself and a couple people on this board - see the headline and believe that the government are spending 45 billion dollars acquiring new fighter jets.

The truth is that the 45 billion dollars includes all costs, maintenance, support, staffing, tires, brake pads, fuel, runway repairs, on base housing, flight training simulators and everything else under the sun for the next 42 YEARS, for god's sake, that number includes the pension costs for the pilots that haven't even entered the military yet who will fly those planes. That's not the picture that the opposition paints, and that's quite on purpose.

The real story here is that the numbers have been the same all along, and no one would be shocked at a 1 billion a year investment in our fighter jet program (in fact, it's probably right in line with what it costs us now, since 90% of the cost is maintenance rather than acquisition), but for some reason the media and the opposition parties are trying to get us all wound up about this. In fact, even now, they're calling for resignations over the fact that the number is now over 40 billion even though all of the experts acknowledge that is based on a different lifespan.

1 billion dollars a year over the next 42 years to buy and sustain a fleet of 65 F-35's is very reasonable; we blow more money on things like the CBC and Indian Affairs annually than we will ever spend on defence.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 55, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 11415 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 47):
With the coming "rightsizing" of the military (civvies taking money away from the uniforms), a lot of uniforms might be moving along now ... to the unemployment line.

Not quite. Salaries for those in uniform have steadily increased in the past 5-10 years, in most cases higher than the Canadian average. While they may cut money from budgets they aren't downsizing the military, internal attrition will do it on its own. Those in uniform will get jobs in the oil patch where they will still make much more than your average, unionised, lazy, civilian Ontarian.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 47):
Simply.....breathtaking

Yeah, the truth is hard to grasp when it doesn't meet your agenda.

Speaking of awesomeness....

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/stor...deralbudget-flaherty-cbc-cuts.html

Cost of supplying the CBC for Canadians = $41.4B for 40 years.
Cost of supplying Air Cover as a service for Canadians for 42 years = $45.8B

Some have different priorities however.  Yeah sure

[Edited 2012-12-07 21:44:12]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 56, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 11405 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 54):
However, the reports all need to be taken into context; how much would Super Hornet, Eurofighter, Rafale, etc costs under the same cost assumptions?

Asked and answered by the US GAO, which I already quoted above. They clearly say the F-35 will be significantly more expensive to acquire and operate than legacy aircraft. Period.

I think it would be best you prove your statements with numbers showing legacy fighters are more expensive. I bet you won't, because you can't.

It's OK to support the F-35, but at least be honest about the cost. Otherwise, most people won't believe anything you say, IMHO.

And the USAF can make all the plans it wants. But in the end, the US Congress decides how much money they get to spend. If Lockheed wants to give the USAF F-35s for free - great! But the US Congress is not going to pay for the same number of F-35s at twice the promised price, IMHO. Not going to happen.

And anyone who has the notion that the USAF can sacrifice from other programs to maintain the procurement numbers, doesn't understand the appropriations process. The Pentagon budget is not a slush fund that can be moved around like that. Doesn't work that way. The US Congress signs off on just about every line item and every program and the USAF can not change it and move money around.

[Edited 2012-12-07 22:04:09]

User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 11373 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 56):
Asked and answered by the US GAO, which I already quoted above. They clearly say the F-35 will be significantly more expensive to acquire and operate than legacy aircraft. Period.

I think it would be best you prove your statements with numbers showing legacy fighters are more expensive. I bet you won't, because you can't.

Like the $106.1 million per aircraft fly away cost Super Hornet, correct?

And you are using the mistake of LRIP contracts to determine the price of the F-35; The LRIP contacts also include equipment that is related to F-35's, such as full motion simulators. Once you're done buying those you will see a good drop in year-to-year weapons system costs, as they are one off purchases.

The main reason that weapons system costs has been increasing (more correctly increasing vs projection) is that they have continually cut the annual numbers in an attempt at kicking the can down the road.

Another item that you do not see in the schedule is Partner & FMS buys. They dramatically increase the numbers and allow economy of scale saving to kick in.

Also, LRIP aircraft are inherently expensive. They are often the first aircraft off the production line and a lot of learning needs to take place to optimize production, not to mention, many LRIP aircraft are often hand built with thousands of man hours to assemble, and only a handful are built at a time, which destroys any attempts at economies of scale. Even the GAO has reported that keeping programs in LRIP increases costs.

Quote:
We found that DOD has inappropriately placed a high priority on buying large numbers of untested weapons during low-rate initial production to ensure commitment to new programs and thus has had to cut by more than half its planned full-rate production for many weapons that have already been tested. This wasteful practice adds unnecessary costs. For example, the costs for 17 of 22 full-rate production systems we reviewed increased by $10 billion beyond original estimates due to stretching out the completion of the weapons' production. Actual production rates were, on average, less than half of the originally planned rates and systems were taking an average of 8 years longer to complete than originally planned. For example, if the Army continues to buy the Blackhawk helicopter at the current rate, full-rate production will take almost 54 years to complete, about 43 years longer than originally planned. Such stretchouts in production are costly. For example, rather than producing 48 T-45 aircraft annually at a unit cost of $8.7 million, the Navy is producing an average of 12 T-45s annually at a unit cost of $18.2 million.

If DOD bought untested weapons at minimum rates during low-rate initial production, more funds would be available to buy proven weapons in full-rate production at more efficient rates and at lower costs.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 58, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11185 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 55):
Cost of supplying the CBC for Canadians = $41.4B for 40 years.
Cost of supplying Air Cover as a service for Canadians for 42 years = $45.8B

So what are you saying? Governments should cut back on non-miltary services if the military needs more money to fund its desired procurements? Governments decide how to spend the money they receive through tax and borrowing. If a government sees the cost of a new defence element as being unacceptably high, that government will not sanction it, especially if there are cheaper alternatives that may not be ideal but which nevertheless provide a capability.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 59, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 11104 times:

Quoting art (Reply 58):
especially if there are cheaper alternatives

The government, or media for that matter, hasn't offered anything of the sort. No one in Canada has proven that the other aircraft are cheaper to purchase and operate for the same amount of time. The shocker will come to Canadians when the study is done and the Super Hornet and Eurofighter are more expensive than the F-35 over 40 years.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3555 posts, RR: 26
Reply 60, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 11092 times:
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Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 52):
Not likely;
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 52):
it is expected

just a mild quibble..both statements are presented as fact, yet both rely on decisions made by other parties... The Air Force may want 'x' number of planes, however they generally shoot high and are glad to get 50-70%.. the probability that all will survive is slim. and "is expected" is just PR noise at this point.. the proof will be not in the contract but in the final cost.


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 61, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 11000 times:

In the arena of public opinion -to which all politicians are beholden- it is not enough to be, you also have to appear to be.

The F-35 may well be the best long-term solution for the CAF in terms of both cost and potency, I really don't know this has been debated ad nauseam in A.net and in the press and both pro and con arguments are well-known. What is amply clear though, is that it is not appearing as such to public opinion.

And that is the acid test.

It's no use bemoaning the stupidity of civilian authorities and the press: those are the necessary constraints that channel spending on big ticket defense items in a democracy. Either play according to the rules or get out.


Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 62, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 10985 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
Super Hornet: The line is expected to finish the last Super Hornet in about 2 years time.

Which is another way of saying availability is excellent.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
The USN will then plan to start disposing of the Super Hornet fleet by 2020.

Key words being "plan" and "start".

As above, USN just contracted for another 15 SHs. Do you expect to see these retired in 2020?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 18):
Then there will be no major user of the Super Hornet, which would be a serviceability nightmare for anyone still using the Hornet.

What "then" are you referring to?

Keep in mind the E-6s had a fifty year life span, and the Growlers will be around for decades to come.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 21):
We aren't buying any fat hornets or any other useless pieces of garbage from Eurocanard land.

Hard to take you seriously after such posts.

Quoting tugger (Reply 25):

As a comparison, if you intended to win races for years to come would you invest in and buy a race care model that was several years old and did not have all the engine and aerodynamic advance etc., and was about to go out of normal production because it is a cheaper platform to own?

Cheaper implies maybe 10%-20% or perhaps even 50%, but here we're talking 200%-300%.

The solution to this was straight forward: all LM had to do was deliver what they said they would/could deliver when they said they would/could deliver it. Should have been straight forward, after starting with a flying prototype.

Quoting tugger (Reply 25):
Remember the intent is that you have to actually win the races you enter.

Indeed. What races does Canada need to be in? Chasing away the occasional Spanish fishing boat or Russian "expedition" to their northern islands seems to be it to me. Otherwise, all that gear ends up doing is rusting away in the desert after a few decades use.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 50):
However, the biggest difference was there was a large enough customer base to continue support. There are hundreds of P-3's flying around the world, and financially, it makes sense for a supplier to keep building and stocking parts for it. Ditto KC-135, T-38, F-4, Tornado, etc, etc, etc. There is still a large customer base for supplying spare parts.

And there will be hundreds of F-18s flying around for decades to come.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 52):
Not likely; the USAF has publically stated that they have a requirement for 1,763 F-35's.

And they also said they required F-15s to be replaced at a 1:1 rate by F-22s, and we all know where that ended up.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 63, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 10946 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 57):
And you are using the mistake of LRIP contracts to determine the price of the F-35

I have done no such thing. I used the 2012 GAO report, who know how to calculate this properly.

Your quibble then, is with those incompetent GAO guys, since you seem not to agree with their conclusion. You need to show them the error of their ways and educate them on how to properly calculate F-35 costs. Unlike you, I do not attempt to calculate these things myself.

From the GAO report from 1997 you quoted from and linked to: Testimony, 03/05/97, GAO/T-NSIAD-97-103

GAO believes
that action needs to be
taken to address DOD's problematic aircraft investment strategy; (2)
action needs to be taken now because, if major commitments are made to
procure the planned aircraft programs, such as the F/A-18E/F, F-22,
Joint Strike Fighter, and V-22, over the next several years, a
significant imbalance is likely to result between program funding
requirements and available funding;

GAO believes
that bringing realism to DOD's acquisition plans will require very
difficult decisions because programs will have to be terminated;


Words of wisdom from 15 years ago.


User currently offlinemffoda From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 64, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 10785 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 63):
Words of wisdom from 15 years ago.

It's funny though. All of those programs are still receiving $Billions$ of dollars in procurement and upgrades. Personally, I wouldn't bet my life on GAO numbers... one must look at their Input values in order to determine their output.

There is funny piece from Lexington Institute's Loren Thompson about this type accounting. (don't worry it gets to the F-35 later in the article) Enjoy!

http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...-bands-to-cost-dod-50b-in-50-years



harder than woodpecker lips...
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 10751 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 21):
So far its still a Canadian F-35 buy.

RCAF wants F-35s. We are now going to do a drawn out program to see what fighter best suits Canada's needs, and after a load of money is spent, it will be the F-35.

If we were looking into replaceing our CF-18s in the eairly 2000's, the Super Hornet would have made sense... but in the 2016-2020 range... anything less than the F-35 will become increasingly obsolete very quickly.

This is not a victory for the opposition of the F-35, it is just jumping though some hoops to quiet the peanut gallery.

Canada will have the F-35.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 66, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10724 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 55):
Those in uniform will get jobs in the oil patch where they will still make much more than your average, unionised, lazy, civilian Ontarian.

No social tunnel vision there, for sure.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 55):
Yeah, the truth is hard to grasp when it doesn't meet your agenda.

No agenda, just an effort to get the truth, which as we all know is out there. b.t.w., was in the Imperial Capital today. Picked up your Christmas present. Will mail soon.   

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 56):
And the USAF can make all the plans it wants. But in the end, the US Congress decides how much money they get to spend. If Lockheed wants to give the USAF F-35s for free - great! But the US Congress is not going to pay for the same number of F-35s at twice the promised price, IMHO. Not going to happen.

The necessary spending cuts to try (?) and get the US deficit/debt situation under a semblance of control will mean nowhere near the 1,763 frames the USAF wants.

Quoting faro (Reply 61):
The F-35 may well be the best long-term solution for the CAF in terms of both cost and potency, I really don't know this has been debated ad nauseam in A.net and in the press and both pro and con arguments are well-known. What is amply clear though, is that it is not appearing as such to public opinion.

And that is the acid test.

It's no use bemoaning the stupidity of civilian authorities and the press: those are the necessary constraints that channel spending on big ticket defense items in a democracy. Either play according to the rules or get out.

All of Harpo's decisions in the next two years will be made in the context of winning the next election (not a given, IMHO, looking at the recent Calgary Centre results).

Quoting Revelation (Reply 62):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 52):
Not likely; the USAF has publically stated that they have a requirement for 1,763 F-35's.

And they also said they required F-15s to be replaced at a 1:1 rate by F-22s, and we all know where that ended up.

Again , fiscal, dare I say, "realities" will partly dictate the fate of the F-35. It will go into squadron service, but not 1,763. Again, IMHO as one of those unreliable civvies.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 67, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 10672 times:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has often used a line in budget speeches noting, “We have more people in military bands than they have in the Foreign Service.

Thompson’s figures were generated from a 2010 Washington Post article that calculated the military spends $550 million annually on all its bands.


Boggles the mind to think how much more is wasted all over the Pentagon.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 68, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10301 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 39):
Recent Canadian military acquisition programs have been a fiasco (or series):
- NSA
- FWSAR
- Submarines

As someone who worked in one of those project offices, I resent this comment.

A lot of the "failures' have less to do with the competency of the military and civilian DND staff and more to do with substantial political interference. And that interference is institutionalized. Major crown projects require three sign offs: DND, PWGSC, Industry Canada. And the consultations can involve literally over two dozen different government agencies.

DND is very capable of executing procurements when the rest of government gets out of its way. See the C-17. By the way that project's staff is what rolled into the FWSAR office.

Quoting krisyyz (Reply 43):
That's true, but IF (and that may be a big IF) the RCAF goes with the super-hornet, wouldn't a long-term maintenance/part supply deal be included in the purchase?

Try getting a 40 year contract though. Industry demands exorbitant premiums for that. So we sign 5-year renewable deals and absorb all the risk that at some point industry just may not be willing to support our platforms.


When it comes to this procurement, there's quite a lot of frustration over the media coverage among the staff. To begin with, our current Hornets have already cost $20 billion, when you correct for inflation. And it'll likely be $25 billion by the time the fleet is retired. Nobody talks about that. Next, the media focuses entirely superficial numbers and there is more than a little suspicion that a lot of this has to do with a very effective media and lobbying campaign by the maker or of one of the most touted alternatives. Lastly, many are frustrated that the standard for calculating costs are not being applied evenly. What would the costs be for shipbuilding if the same standard was applied? Or even other (non-defence) government programs? Yet, the Air Force has to offer up projections that include billions in fuel costs for 40 years of operations. Find me a credible economist who can tell you what fuel costs will be 40 years from now.

I have no issues with our parliament deciding on defence priorities. But this entire procurement is not driven by defence needs or policy. It's entirely driven by highly politicized cost estimates with methods not employed anywhere else in government, let alone DND.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 69, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10289 times:

Quoting Oroka (Reply 65):
RCAF wants F-35s. We are now going to do a drawn out program to see what fighter best suits Canada's needs, and after a load of money is spent, it will be the F-35.

Maybe. Maybe not. Don't forget what happened with the Sea King replacement. The government pressured the CF to drop the three-engine requirement and quietly accept Sikorsky's outright lie on difficulty of development (WRT the CH148). That's what made the S-92 competitive. Otherwise, the EH-101 would have won...again.

I could see the same thing happening again with the fighters.

I am sure any honest analysis will show that the alternatives are only a few billion cheaper for a 40-year life, with substantially less capability. But will the politicians allow for honest analysis?

In the office, I worked at, it certainly didn't happen.


User currently offlineredflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4329 posts, RR: 28
Reply 70, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 19):
Something at least as credible as the US GAO
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 56):
Asked and answered by the US GAO


I'm not taking sides in this debate, but I will say that your oft repeated reliance on the GAO as an irrefutable source makes me cringe. Although they are "unbiased", their numbers have been known to be off the mark considerably in many analysis that they have performed in the past (on a myriad of different government projects, not just USAF procurement programs).



My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 71, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 10140 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 69):
I am sure any honest analysis will show that the alternatives are only a few billion cheaper for a 40-year life, with substantially less capability.

I found this on the weekend http://disarmingconflict.ca/2012/04/...cycle-cost-estimate-comparisons-3/ with the associated table, http://disarmingconflict.ca/wp-conte...ircraft-cost-comparisons-Table.pdf
I have no idea which way this guy leans but his analysis appears impartial and sourced from mutiple agencies. The interesting part is the different in costs over 36 years is $3 billion or $70 million per year between the F-35 and the SuperHornet, which in the context of a defence budget is peanuts. Given the increased capability of the F-35 over the SuperHornet, unless the decision is made purely on price, the Canadians would be mad not to choose the F-35.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 65):
RCAF wants F-35s. We are now going to do a drawn out program to see what fighter best suits Canada's needs, and after a load of money is spent, it will be the F-35.

That is my feeling. Japan made the decision for F-35 against similar contenders. South Korea will probably decide before Canada does and what they choose will give clear indications.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 72, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10137 times:

Quoting redflyer (Reply 70):
their numbers have been known to be off the mark considerably in many analysis that they have performed in the past (on a myriad of different government projects, not just USAF procurement programs).

That is a remarkable statement. One, you need to substantiate.

If there have been many GAO reports in which their numbers have been considerably off the mark, name one, and prove that they were way off. This will be interesting.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 73, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10137 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 68):
As someone who worked in one of those project offices, I resent this comment.

Sorry for hurt feelings, but this IS the bigs, after all. (BTW, worked on the nuclear submarine program 84-88 more or less. Was at DND HQ every 3-4 weeks either receiving or giving a briefing).

Of course there is political interference, goes with the territory. Think the Yanks don't have it ? Worse, maybe. All pols want to make points for their party or, more likely, bring contracts to their riding. Human nature. Some, amazingly, have the best interests of the country at heart. As for the mass media, in the main ignore them since most do not have the technical chops to understand what they're writing about. Technical/military-oriented media, probably different story.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 68):
DND is very capable of executing procurements when the rest of government gets out of its way.

Translation: when the government signs a blank cheque things go smoothly. Although I do agree that the C-17 gives CF a capability it did not previously have.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 68):
But this entire procurement is not driven by defence needs or policy.

Defense needs flow from governmental assessment of 'state of the world' (and where it is likely to go), which drives foreign policy, which leads to a military posture. The posture dictates your needs.

Do you need to maintain an expeditionary fleet ? Or are you looking at something purely defensive ? Or, some sort of mix ? The answers will drive what type of weapon system you acquire. Personally, I don't expect to see a combat deployment again (in my lifetime, I mean; yours, maybe, but I doubt it. CF is not a 1st rank military organisation, but is well suited for lower-level situations, or follow-up. Let's be honest. Oh, I know I'll get flamed but I have broad shoulders.)

Quoting YTZ (Reply 69):
The government pressured the CF to drop the three-engine requirement and quietly accept Sikorsky's outright lie on difficulty of development (WRT the CH148). That's what made the S-92 competitive. Otherwise, the EH-101 would have won...again.

The EH-101 is clearly superior, coulda shoulda been the selection. You win on capability, you win on commonality with the Cormorants. Heck, they might even have bought a simulator. However, remember at that time Canada was essentially broke (thanks to the Tories).

Fast forward. Many dollars to be committed, country once again bailing (thanks to the Tories, again). I think many are settled that the cost of operating a fleet of F-35s will probably be in the $1-1.5B/year range, so the $25 or $30 or $40B life-cycle cost partly reflects the length of time you plan to operate the beast. The capital cost however is a huge unknown.

And there is this lingering question of: will it work as advertised ? Answer: to date, not sure. But damn, we're building production frames anyway. Previous attempts to build 'polyvalent' aircraft have been failures, absent the DH.98 Mosquito in WW2. The TFX/F-111 was a fiasco. What we tend to do is design something which is optimal for a limited range of situations, the n add on crap that degrades overall performance. It doesn't do the secondary or tertiary roles all that well, and its' primary role is rather compromised.

The F-35 is going to wind up in that ballpark.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 47):
From what I understand the majority of the changes really are going to be in the software which should be a plug and play type thing.

Went back through the thread and saw this one. Was involved for about 10+ years in verification and validation of nuclear safety simulation software (actually I was in charge). ~350,000 source lines, designed to cover a range of pressures from atmospheric to 20 MPa, temps from 0 to 2000 C, and also layering in the control system for a CANDU reactor. This is not a small problem.

Maintaining common procedure interfaces is key, otherwise you have an escalating number of issues to deal with. If that discipline is not maintained, then it is not a plug and play type thing. It is going to be a goatf*ck.

Later ...



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 74, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10116 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 54):
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 54):
The Norwegian media frequently site the Canadian F-35 purchase, love reporting on spiriling costs, now that Canadia looks like dropping out, with an election next year and the current govt who support F-35 looking highly unlikely to survive I'm pretty sure the Norwegian procurement will be cancelled. It's a good thing IMO, the Norwegians don't need them, the public opposes the purchase, can't really afford them and shouldn't have let the US govt twist there arms to purchase them.

However, the reports all need to be taken into context; how much would Super Hornet, Eurofighter, Rafale, etc costs under the same cost assumptions?

Much more. But then Gripen cost more than F-35 under the same cost assumptions.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 59):
The shocker will come to Canadians when the study is done and the Super Hornet and Eurofighter are more expensive than the F-35 over 40 years.

Let's see (a) the assessment criteria and whether they are slanted in favour of F-35 (b) if the assessment criteria are not slanted, how the costs work out.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 65):
If we were looking into replaceing our CF-18s in the eairly 2000's, the Super Hornet would have made sense... but in the 2016-2020 range... anything less than the F-35 will become increasingly obsolete very quickly.

Fair comment wrt Super Hornet but I don't see Rafale and Typhoon development stopping for many years.


User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 75, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 10095 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
Do you need to maintain an expeditionary fleet ? Or are you looking at something purely defensive ? Or, some sort of mix ? The answers will drive what type of weapon system you acquire.

I'd say we have a mainly expeditionary fleet that is capable of filling the role of NORAD. Until we remove ourselves from NATO or the UN we will always have fighters that are ready for deployment, that won't change. Same thing goes for NORAD.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
Personally, I don't expect to see a combat deployment again

Look how quickly Libya ramped up. We had jets flying over the Atlantic less than 48 hours after the no-fly zone was announced. Who is to say that the same won't happen with Syria, Egypt or some other shit hole in the Middle-east? What if Israel attacks Iran and they start retaliating, Canada seems to be a strong supporter of Israel (whatever that means). I don't care who you are, you can't predict the future, all you can do is prepare for it with the right and most advanced equipment financially available. Right now that is the F35.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
CF is not a 1st rank military organisation, but is well suited for lower-level situations, or follow-up.

We won't be going in first, not gonna argue that. Afghanistan and Libya was pretty much "handled" by the US. We sent in ground troops into Afghanistan and 6 fighters into Italy and punched wayyy above our weight in both situations with what we had.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 76, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 10046 times:

Quoting art (Reply 74):

Fair comment wrt Super Hornet but I don't see Rafale and Typhoon development stopping for many years.

You don't? I think the writing is already on the wall for Typhoon in particular. The UK will get the F-35B and then most people fully expect them to buy the F-35A toward the end of the production run to replace its Eurofighters. Rafale will have a longer life in my view. Most of the major Eurofighter powers are going to buy F-35's and that will be that. Germany does not appear to really care that much about supporting it either. The split of the tranche 3 buy should worry everyone because it represented a get out of the contract as cheaply as possible solution rather than a maximize capability solution.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 77, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 10045 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
Went back through the thread and saw this one. Was involved for about 10+ years in verification and validation of nuclear safety simulation software (actually I was in charge). ~350,000 source lines, designed to cover a range of pressures from atmospheric to 20 MPa, temps from 0 to 2000 C, and also layering in the control system for a CANDU reactor. This is not a small problem.

While undoubtedly true there are a few differences. Most things designed back in the era of the CANDU reactor were not designed to be upgraded. The F-35 had that built in from the start. A couple of things should make it simpler. The UAI (Universal Armament Interface) will vastly simplify most upgrade paths when it comes to weapons which are some of the most time consuming updates in older aircraft. Secondly the understanding of software and how to best make use of it has evolved dramatically since the 1960's and 70's when the majority of the previous generation aircraft went into production.

Now this does not mean that it will be simple. Writing code for an aircraft is complicated business. But that is the case for all fighters flying. Among those out there the F-35 should be the simplest to modify for a given capability. You won't have to shove new black boxes into the thing to add capabilities as you had to in the past.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 78, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9967 times:

Speaking of software on the F-35:

Developing and integrating the more than 24
million lines of software code continues to be of concern. Late software releases
and concurrent work on multiple software blocks have delayed testing and
training. Development of critical mission systems providing core combat
capabilities remains behind schedule and risky. To date, only 4 percent of the
mission systems required for full capability have been verified. Deficiencies with
the helmet mounted display, integral to mission systems functionality and
concepts of operation, are most problematic. The autonomic logistics information
system, integral technology for improving aircraft availability and lowering support
costs, is not fully developed.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-437
June 14, 2012


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 79, posted (1 year 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9976 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 76):
The UK will get the F-35B and then most people fully expect them to buy the F-35A toward the end of the production run to replace its Eurofighters.

That's news to us. Typhoon will be in RAF at least until 2030, past that? Some kind of UCAV most likely.
I don't see F-35A either, the -C would meet RAF requirements better. Most range, compatible air to air refuelling system and despite the (very wise) switch back to F-35B for the carriers, it could be an option further down the road for the RN once the electromagnetic catapults are well proven in USN service.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 80, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9884 times:

They can get some nice cheap Gripen NG, its probably good enough for Canada?

User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 81, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9881 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 77):
Most things designed back in the era of the CANDU reactor were not designed to be upgraded.

I can say from experience that CANDU itself was designed to be upgraded (has been and continues to be).

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 77):
Secondly the understanding of software and how to best make use of it has evolved dramatically since the 1960's and 70's when the majority of the previous generation aircraft went into production.

Which of course explains why there are so many software "issues" in aviation and elsewhere today.  
Quoting BigJKU (Reply 77):
Among those out there the F-35 should be the simplest to modify for a given capability.

I might buy that except for the s/w is written in C++ . IMHO, not the best choice.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7391 posts, RR: 5
Reply 82, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9863 times:

Quoting art (Reply 74):
Much more. But then Gripen cost more than F-35 under the same cost assumptions.

Actually that's the main reason why Norwegians are pissed, turns out the govt lied and let the US twist there arm into purchasing F-35, the Norwegian govt today still can't tell the people how much F-35 will cost because they don't know, nobody except Powerslide appears to know how much they will cost.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 83, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 9796 times:

The F-35 is, by far, the most expensive option for any Air Force or Navy to aquire, operate and maintane. There are several more affordable options, including the F/A-18E/F and the F-15SE. Parts will be available for 20 years after the last of any chosen fighter from the OEMs. Additional pats will be available from DM. The USAF kept the F/FB-111s in storage for nearly 2 decades just to support the RAAF F-111C/Gs. Now that the RAAF F-111s are gone, the DM F-111s are being reduced to scrap.

If I were an RCAF pilot flying a patrol over Northern Canada in the dead of winter (or any other time), I would want a two engine fighter as opposed to a single engine fighter, just for the added safety factor.

The only capability the F-35 brings to the table that other fighters don't is a full stealth capability. But that capability is compromised with external stores, like long range fuel tanks, so the F-35 ends up having less capability per dollar than any of its competitors, and for a lot more money.

The US is looking at reducing the total buy of F-35A/B/Cs just because of the federal budget. Reducing the US buy will increase the fly away costs to any other nation who buys it. Canada is smart to walk away now and save some cash. I expect other countries to walk away from this albertross, too.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 84, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9736 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 71):
That is my feeling. Japan made the decision for F-35 against similar contenders. South Korea will probably decide before Canada does and what they choose will give clear indications.

Japan and South Korea can afford their frames. Heck, Japan can afford the F-22 if the US would sell them.

Besides. the requirement for Japan and South Korea is slightly different for Canada. Considering if there were a shooting war with China or more likely North Korea, the Japanese and Korean Air Forces would be first to engage.

Historically speaking any deployment of Canadian's fighter would probably in conjunction with the more robust US forces where the Canadian F-35's may be a nice addition but not critical.

Now if Canada was to deploy with NATO, sans US, then their F-35 would be the envy of the European Forces . . . except for the British F-35's of course  

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 85, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9723 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
Translation: when the government signs a blank cheque things go smoothly.

No. That is not what I meant. I literally meant when the rest of government gets out of the way. C-17 was under budget and delivered earlier than targeted. When it comes to procurement, DND's management of the file is not the problem. It's the fact that other stakeholders can significantly hold up procurement. And drive up the price.

Contrast that to FWSAR. Exact same project staff as C-17. Entirely different outcome. Pretty much had a signed contract in 2008. Then the election writ drops. Contract falls off the table. Alenia offers more direct industrial offsets. Industry Canada smelling blood in the water, decides they will hold up the process for another 3 years because they want even more than Alenia is offering. They pressure DND to lower the requirements just so the process can be competitive and they can leverage more direct offsets from any potential winner. DND refuses to lower requirements (IC wanted the ramp to be optional and range and speed to be reduced substantially). So they go to NRC as the honest broker. NRC validates the ramp requirement. But says DND should be open to all kinds of solution (like V-22s). NRC study not constrained by basing costs or crew costs. IC decides to hold up the process further until DND can find away to allow in slower and lower range aircraft.

Show me where in the US an equivalent to Industry Canada can delay an absolutely critical procurement like that, for years. Here, the RCAF is already holding SAR alert in Winnipeg for the West Coast on many days because the entire Buff fleet is unserviceable.

And IC is one example. I've had Indian and Northern Affairs hold up a multi-billion dollar procurement.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
Of course there is political interference, goes with the territory.

Different kind of political intereference. From Congress. However, they don't have a process where another government department that nobody has heard about can hold up the procurement simply because they don't deem their interests sufficiently satisfied.

This is what I find funny. Everybody says the procurement process is broken. Lots and lots of studies done on the matter. But nobody wants to change. The only viable change would be given DND more influence and authority. Not less. And everybody knows it. That's why there'll never be reform. It would rob several ministers of their power.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
Defense needs flow from governmental assessment of 'state of the world' (and where it is likely to go), which drives foreign policy, which leads to a military posture. The posture dictates your needs.

This is one of my frustrations with the current government. Show me where they have done any of the above. The Canada First Defence Strategy is a shopping list. It's not strategic guidance. I agree, that defence procurement should follow the process you describe. But I can't think of a single government in recent memory that has actually done that. The Conservatives gave us CFDS. The Liberals gave us a decent White Paper and then proceeded not to fund the procurements (like the C-17s) that were necessary to meet the obligations in that White Paper.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
However, remember at that time Canada was essentially broke (thanks to the Tories).

I highly simplistic view at best. Canada was in recession. Yes. But the EH101 was supposed to have a production line in Canada. Instead we lost the production line, and when we include the cancellation penalties, the inflation till new contract and the delays, the S-92 has got us worse capability for a higher price. I don't get how anybody could say this excusable because "Canada was essentially broke". If you don't have ideological blinders on, you know that governments plan procurements over years or decades. They can also incur debts at different times to pay for projects. I don't see how incurring a deficit in 1992 or booking the expenses in 2012 makes a difference. We could have bought it on deficit financing then and committed more to debt reduction today. Or we get it today and have saved a bit of debt then. Interest payments are probably a wash when you consider all the other costs and the higher Sea King maintenance costs.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 73):
The capital cost however is a huge unknown.

Disagree. The capital cost is being nailed down. And it's actually a lot easier to predict. It's the operating cost that is highly variable....based on factors selected. And that's what is killing this procurement. Now, that would be fair. If the government (and the Opposition) were willing to apply the same accounting method to every procurement or other government programs. But you don't see any of the political parties clamouring to apply the same accounting methods to the shipbuilding program and that's at least twice (up to thrice) the commitment of the F-35. I'm guessing voters in Atlantic Canada are a little more sensitive.

In any event, if this keeps up, we won't be getting the Super Hornet either. Because I predict the same sticker shock once we ask Boeing for a 40 year lifecycle cost. It'll be Gripen NGs.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 86, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9732 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 84):
Japan and South Korea can afford their frames.

To be fair. Canada can afford F-35s if we want. The question is one of opportunity cost.

This is why the debate is odd. It's not even necessarily true that the taxpayer saves money overall. It's quite likely that the money to pay for and operate the F-35s will result in cuts to other defence procurements.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 87, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9726 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 81):
I can say from experience that CANDU itself was designed to be upgraded (has been and continues to be).

I think you are taking what I said a bit out of context. More to the point take an aircraft like the F-4 or even the F-15 where a new weapon meant plugging new black boxes into the design. For the F-4 that meant that only certain models were able to use anti-radiation missiles effectively. For the F-15 that explains why the worlds premier Air to Air fighter got AMRAAM after the F-16. The integration process is just not easy on old designs.

The F-35 is very much designed to accept these kind of things so that is good news for everyone, it should make everyone's life much simpler.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 81):
Which of course explains why there are so many software "issues" in aviation and elsewhere today.

Well you are asking the software to do a hell of a lot more than in the past so it is understandably more complicated. What has changed, and this to me is mostly due to commercial software evolution, is that people expect new additions to system to be pretty seamless. The goal they are pursuing is that new weapons will essentially only need a drop test to make sure they can be ejected properly rather than full up integration testing. It looks promising and should make life a lot easier for everyone.

Quoting GDB (Reply 79):
That's news to us. Typhoon will be in RAF at least until 2030, past that? Some kind of UCAV most likely.
I don't see F-35A either, the -C would meet RAF requirements better. Most range, compatible air to air refuelling system and despite the (very wise) switch back to F-35B for the carriers, it could be an option further down the road for the RN once the electromagnetic catapults are well proven in USN service.
http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogs...or-carriers-then-maybe-some-a.html

Covers the comments on this from the defense minister himself. We won't know for sure until 2015 but it is not just something being made up out of thin air. We will have to see how that one develops but I would say the ultimate service life of the Typhoon, especially the early tranches, are very much up in the air.

I also believe the A model can be ordered with a probe for that type of refueling as well.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 83):
The F-35 is, by far, the most expensive option for any Air Force or Navy to aquire, operate and maintane. There are several more affordable options, including the F/A-18E/F and the F-15SE.

F-18E sure. I will buy that on an aircraft basis. It would cost more to get the same capability from a strike package but lets just leave that aside for the moment. The F-15SE does not exist and no one is looking to buy it as far as I know. I am not sure how anyone knows what the ultimate price would be if you did it right because that includes major airframe surgery to change the vertical tails of the thing.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 88, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 9707 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 83):
The only capability the F-35 brings to the table that other fighters don't is a full stealth capability. But that capability is compromised with external stores, like long range fuel tanks, so the F-35 ends up having less capability per dollar than any of its competitors, and for a lot more money.

Quite right insofar as F-35 doing Arctic patrols goes. But I see that task as being assigned to UAVs, likely Global Hawk. A small cadre of them ,5 or 6, can shuttle between Goose Bay in the east and Cold Lake in the west over a very northerly arc and do the job. So no need to compromise F-35s vaunted stealth. But stealth itself I believe will be defeated by technical means in 15-20 years, so why the hard-on for it ?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 83):
The US is looking at reducing the total buy of F-35A/B/Cs just because of the federal budget. Reducing the US buy will increase the fly away costs to any other nation who buys it. Canada is smart to walk away now and save some cash. I expect other countries to walk away from this albertross, too.

I agree it will be an albatross, and an expensive one. Several in this thread keep insisting the US in total will buy about 2,400 of them. No way, especially if the US goes over the cliff. The Pentagon probably already has an idea of how many F-35s they can expect.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 84):
Besides. the requirement for Japan and South Korea is slightly different for Canada. Considering if there were a shooting war with China or more likely North Korea, the Japanese and Korean Air Forces would be first to engage.

Indeed, Japan is likely a lot closer to a shooting war than we're comfortable with. Notwithstanding the economic links between the two countries, there is a huge amount of historical baggage there.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 85):
No. That is not what I meant. I literally meant when the rest of government gets out of the way. C-17 was under budget and delivered earlier than targeted. When it comes to procurement, DND's management of the file is not the problem. It's the fact that other stakeholders can significantly hold up procurement. And drive up the price.

But I believe schedule, hence budget, was helped by the USAF generously opening some production line slots for Canada. Actually, I think we should have bought six. The Aussies did.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 85):
the S-92 has got us worse capability for a higher price.

Absolutely no argument there. Will be a dog.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 85):
They can also incur debts at different times to pay for projects. I don't see how incurring a deficit in 1992 or booking the expenses in 2012 makes a difference. We could have bought it on deficit financing then and committed more to debt reduction today.

You can only incur debt if someone is willing to lend to you. Canada Savings Bonds won't do it. In the early/mid 90s, we had precious few countries willing to lend to us, hence all the government cuts at that time.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 86):
It's quite likely that the money to pay for and operate the F-35s will result in cuts to other defence procurements.

Yup, ships being one, and these are arguably more important than the F-35, no matter what other nosewipes might say. The principal reason the Avro Arrow was killed (at the suggestion of the then Chief of Defense Staff, Gen McNaughton) was that it was bleeding all the other important programs. Spending was out of control (due to the RCAF frequently changing requirements), there was no coherent flight test program of which I am aware, in 1959 squadron service was probably 4-5 years away, and no one else was going to buy it.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinepowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 89, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9613 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 83):
If I were an RCAF pilot flying a patrol over Northern Canada

I can count on both hands the amount of days our aircraft spent "patrolling" Northern Canada this year. Flying patrol missions in Northern Canada is another made-up reason the anti-JSF crowd in Canada are trying to pitch.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 82):
nobody except Powerslide appears to know how much they will cost.

I don't know how much they will cost, but the idiots in the Canadian media seem to know more than Lockheed and governments. Recent numbers are $40B for 40 years. They like to use the larger timelines because it artificially increases the price and the stupid Canadians eat it up. Since the commitment to buy was announced the cost per year has only slightly increased while the aircraft cost has gone down. You have to be delusional to think you can predict how much an aircraft not in operation yet will cost you over 40 years. How does anyone know how much jet fuel will cost next year, let alone in 40 years. All these cost analysis are a waste of time and money because everyone uses different criteria and they only study the F35, not the others.

Quoting sweair (Reply 80):
They can get some nice cheap Gripen NG, its probably good enough for Canada?

That would be no better than what we have now.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 90, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 9503 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 80):
They can get some nice cheap Gripen NG, its probably good enough for Canada?
Quoting YTZ (Reply 85):
In any event, if this keeps up, we won't be getting the Super Hornet either. Because I predict the same sticker shock once we ask Boeing for a 40 year lifecycle cost. It'll be Gripen NGs.
http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

At least worth considering. GripenNG is developmentally behind the F-35 right now as well as it has not even really flown except in prototype form.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 91, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 9514 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 86):

To be fair. Canada can afford F-35s if we want. The question is one of opportunity cost.

  

With all the shale oil, Canada can probably afford the F-35 more than the US.  

And to be fair, I am rooting against Canada buying the F=35 because that should free up more money for them to buy some P-8's   

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 92, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9514 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 89):
All these cost analysis are a waste of time and money because everyone uses different criteria and they only study the F35, not the others.

GAO did compare the F-35 to others using the same assumptions and metrics over the same periods of time. Nobody has every called them stupid. They are respected by all sides.

Again, it's OK to support the F-35 on it's theoretical merits in the future, once they get there. But to call others stupid because they come to a conclusion you do not agree with,....fill in the blanks. And I don't say that with malice. I suggest you stick to the F-35's strong points and acknowledge it's weak points. In other words, be real.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 93, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9518 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 87):
We will have to see how that one develops but I would say the ultimate service life of the Typhoon, especially the early tranches, are very much up in the air.

I also believe the A model can be ordered with a probe for that type of refueling as well.

Agreed, really I was thinking in RAF terms of the Tranche 2 and 3 machines, F-35's, either a probe equipped F-35A or -C could indeed replace the Tranche 1's.
I cite F-35C, thinking in terms of a partial Tornado GR.4 replacement, it's the best fast jet there is for that role. The next best being a Typhoon Tranche 3 with upper fuselage conformal fuel tanks.

RAF Typhoon deliveries are to be stretched out to 2017, partly financial, partly to allow more time for potential exports while the production line is still busy.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 94, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9521 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 93):
Agreed, really I was thinking in RAF terms of the Tranche 2 and 3 machines, F-35's, either a probe equipped F-35A or -C could indeed replace the Tranche 1's.
I cite F-35C, thinking in terms of a partial Tornado GR.4 replacement, it's the best fast jet there is for that role. The next best being a Typhoon Tranche 3 with upper fuselage conformal fuel tanks.

RAF Typhoon deliveries are to be stretched out to 2017, partly financial, partly to allow more time for potential exports while the production line is still busy.

I think for the RAF to stick with Typhoon long term you need to see a big export order win to get the Tranche 3B level improvements fielded. The problem is I am not sure where that comes from. The Tranche 3A I find really worrying because it leaves unfunded all the things one really needs to have a complete airplane for a tranche 3b that at the moment does not look like it will happen.

The biggest problem though, at least in my view is going to be that the F-35B will, in almost all environments except for close in dog fights, do a better job than the Eurofighter. It has a better sensor outfit overall. It is better equipped as an attack jet. It is better suited to the long-range BVR warfare. The 360 degree sensors will make it very dangerous WVR as well to where it does not have to turn as well as its opponent. It will give away some on overall payload but the A model wouldn't. It should also offer a better path forward with a much larger installed user base.


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 95, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9386 times:

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 88):
But stealth itself I believe will be defeated by technical means in 15-20 years, so why the hard-on for it ?

It also means that conventional aircraft will be even more vulnerable. At least with a stealthy aircraft, it is less detectable until much closer in, which improves survivability.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 88):
I agree it will be an albatross, and an expensive one. Several in this thread keep insisting the US in total will buy about 2,400 of them. No way, especially if the US goes over the cliff. The Pentagon probably already has an idea of how many F-35s they can expect.

The Pentagon will find something else to cut, such as kicking the can down the line GCV or Next-Generation Bomber. The Pentagon knows full well the consequences if no major replacement comes forward for the USAF tactical aircraft fleet within the next decade, as they have already delayed buying aircraft that should have been replaced years ago.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 88):
But I believe schedule, hence budget, was helped by the USAF generously opening some production line slots for Canada. Actually, I think we should have bought six. The Aussies did.

Actually, the Australians gave us a slot... the original delivery schedule until there was a last minute delay was for Canada to get line number P-174 in June 2007, P-180 in Oct 2007 and then the 3rd and 4th aircraft in March and April of 2008 respectively. I think P-174 (the first one originally assigned to Canada before the delay) is serving with the USAF.

We eventually got P-177 and P-180 as the first two aircraft; P-177 was originally assigned AFAIK, to the RAAF. The RAAF and the USAF were both very accommodating to us cutting in front of them, and the USAF was even willing enough to let us cut ahead of even more if the contract delay didn't happen. I think that had the original (the very original) schedule been kept, it would have resulted us getting our first C-17 back in April/May 2007.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 85):
Different kind of political intereference. From Congress. However, they don't have a process where another government department that nobody has heard about can hold up the procurement simply because they don't deem their interests sufficiently satisfied.

Indeed. Political interference can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on who's interfering and for what reasons.

The Liberal Govt, under the former PM Paul Martin, only approved $4.6 billion funding from the Treasury Board for 17 tails of the C-130J. This did not occur until Nov 2005 when a CF team was very quickly thrown together (to make up and ad-hoc DAR/PMO team) at short notice by directive of the cabinet and told to "... go buy 17 x J models .... NOW".

The federal election results in Jan 2006 changed all that; the $4.6 billion was diverted to the ACP-T project which aimed at the Herc replacement and continued to focus on the 17 x C-130 J models from Lockheed. That got kicked down the line as the urgency for buying new Herc's diminished as the government stood up ACT-S to buy C-17's by the new incoming Conservative government. Prior to that, C-17 was never on the table internally at the DND as a realistic proposition. The C-17 did not gain foothold or traction until the election when it was pushed by the new Conservative Government - and it was basically "thrust upon the DND" by cabinet whether the DND liked it or not. However, nobody in the DND was going to look a gift horse in the mouth; money was still going towards the Herc replacement and now suddenly, there was funding for another capital project to add capability that always lingered as being essential.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 88):
You can only incur debt if someone is willing to lend to you. Canada Savings Bonds won't do it. In the early/mid 90s, we had precious few countries willing to lend to us, hence all the government cuts at that time.

The thing was that we won't have to pay for the EH-101's had the Liberals not cancelled them until 1995.

The EH101 was cancelled for silly political claptrap reasons. Maybe more misplaced persons would be alive today if we had the Cormorant or EH101 or equivalent back then.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 87):

F-18E sure. I will buy that on an aircraft basis. It would cost more to get the same capability from a strike package but lets just leave that aside for the moment. The F-15SE does not exist and no one is looking to buy it as far as I know. I am not sure how anyone knows what the ultimate price would be if you did it right because that includes major airframe surgery to change the vertical tails of the thing.

I will also point out that all of the other candidates do not include pricing for what is already integrated into F-35, for example, targeting pods. Every single F-35 comes equipped, as standard, a targeting pod for laser guided munitions that is equivalent to the Sniper XR pod (not surprising as the Sniper pod is made by Lockheed Martin).

The main question is what exactly are we comparing for operational cost? Just the flat cost to put a plane in the air for an hour? The cost to get a certain mission accomplished? If it is the former than the F-35 has no chance to win. It is carrying a bunch of equipment that is "optional" (but really not if you want to get something done) and hangs on the pylons of all its competitors. So before we move forward lets establish exactly what we are comparing here when it comes to operational cost. This is why I think it is fair to view the F-35 decisions made by various nations as a litmus test on their overall commitment to being strategic partners. I am fine if we don't buy F-35 but I would expect the Canadian contribution to be something like Gripen and several hundred long-range strike weapons so they can contribute. Or Gripen and AWACS. Or Gripen and jammers. Or Gripen and a major tanker capability.

[Edited 2012-12-10 18:29:31]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 96, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9146 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 95):
Quoting connies4ever (Reply 88):
But stealth itself I believe will be defeated by technical means in 15-20 years, so why the hard-on for it ?

It also means that conventional aircraft will be even more vulnerable.

Not necessarily. They're already visible from farther away than most SAMS have range, if flown in line of sight. ANd if radar are looking around with strong signals, they're 1) a SEAD target and 2) a jamming target. However, it's clear stealth aircraft will be more visible in the future, just like today's fighters are. IMHO, The USAF is committing a blunder by assuming that they will be able to cruise in at 25,000 feet undetected in the F-35 around 2020 and beyond. The USAF should at least have been as prudent as the US Navy, spreading it's bet.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 95):
The Pentagon will find something else to cut

The US Navy has been more prudent and has not put all their eggs on the F-35 and is moving ahead with UCAVS, more new Super Hornets, new EA-16Gs and most wise, on new jammer technology, not just all on the F-35 like the USAF.

"To say that the AESA air-to-air radar has the same capabilities as a Next-Generation Jammer is mixing apples and oranges."

The AESA on the F-35, for example, is built to spot air and ground targets, with jamming capability as what Cmdr. Edgarton called a fortunate "by-product."

"It's optimized to be a targeting radar; the fact that it can also jam is fantastic," Capt. Thompson agreed. But the same basic AESA technology, with a differently sized antenna to generate different frequencies and wavelengths, "backed by different processing, different power, different cooling, and purposely built to be a jammer... would have much greater capabilities."

That's why the Navy sees the Next-Generation Jammer as critical.
.......
.......
So if the Air Force has bet wrong, and the F-35's stealth and jamming capabilities don't hold up against ever-improving radar systems, they may have to count on the Navy's electronic warfare investments, too.

http://defense.aol.com/2012/12/06/na...nic-warfare-f-35-ja/?icid=related1

On budget issues, it is not the Pentagon that decides which programs to spend money on. You keep thinking the US military budget is a giant slush fund that the military can spend as they see fit every year. That is false. For instance, Congress could increase funding for the US military overall, and at the same time cut off funding for the F-35 or any program it chooses. You do not seem to even want to understand how this works based on your many comments.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 97, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 9118 times:

What nobody is really mentioning is that the F-35 radars themselves may be jammed in the future. After all, the talk is about how well they'll do against sophisticated enemies. These are bound to have jammers and electronic warfare capabilities.

Then what does an F-35 do? And unless it's a clear day/night, below clouds, laser targeting systems don't work, as the GAO has clearly evaluated.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 98, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 9034 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 94):
The biggest problem though, at least in my view is going to be that the F-35B will, in almost all environments except for close in dog fights, do a better job than the Eurofighter. It has a better sensor outfit overall. It is better equipped as an attack jet. It is better suited to the long-range BVR warfare.

I'd would question that the F-35B or any version, will be better in BVR, now that the Meteor AAM is getting nearer service, the MoD has also said they will fund various upgrades including the electrically scanned radar. I'm not sure that the F-35B at least, could even carry Meteor, not internally at least.
I'd also doubt F-35B being better than a Tranche 3, or upgraded -2, in strike as regards range/payload at least.
While I agree that F-35 is likely better than many claim in air combat, against a Typhoon? In performance terms?

The RAF certainly don't see F-35 as an air to air platform, save in self defence, naturally the RN will do as it's the only game in town for them.
The RAF have Typhoon for that and even with all the costs, cost generated delays, are very happy with it.
I bet they could not wait to get them bomb dropping in Libya last year, just to shut up years of critics saying it could never happen, even at an early stage of air to ground weapons integration - which F-35 will have to do as well.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 99, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8995 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 98):
I'd would question that the F-35B or any version, will be better in BVR, now that the Meteor AAM is getting nearer service, the MoD has also said they will fund various upgrades including the electrically scanned radar. I'm not sure that the F-35B at least, could even carry Meteor, not internally at least.

Meteor is a fine weapon against an F-15. It is less so against a low-observable target. The excess range is only good if the X-band radar of CAPTOR can target it and that is explicitly what low observable technology is designed to defeat (x-band radars that are on most fighters and targeting radars). Against legacy targets both will be equally as good (they will win virtually all the time). Against one another it will really depend on detection ranges. An AMRAAM has a standoff range something on the order of 100 miles and I don't think the Eurofighter is likely to have a solid contact on the F-35 at that point (again depending on angles and a variety of other things that impact detection range). And the F-35 has been fit checked for the Meteor. I believe with minor modifications it will fit internally is what I heard last time I looked into it.

I honestly don't worry that much about the F-35 in the air to air role. Fighters don't have the right equipment to offset stealth (low-band radars with very high power and lots of processing power). I don't think the Russians will get much out of airborne low-band (need big arrays) either. The big worry is IADS that have low-band radars and long-range dual-seeker missiles but that is really another subject. The EF has neither of those things working for it. Assuming the two types are equipped with missiles of equal capability (and there really is no reason they can't be if one desired to) then the F-35 is going to win that battle a lot more often than not.

Quoting GDB (Reply 98):
I'd also doubt F-35B being better than a Tranche 3, or upgraded -2, in strike as regards range/payload at least.

Depends on how we calculate it. If we want to be LO then the EF carries nothing at all and the B will carry full fuel load, 3,000 pounds of bombs and two AMRAAMs to its designed combat radius of 470 miles. That is effectively its loaded weight. IE it will hit all of its performance parameters (speed, agility, range) at that weight.

The Eurofighter has a loaded weight (it is actually a bit over it on the ground but would burn gas quick enough it won't matter) that has it carrying full fuel and capacity for 500 pounds of weapons. A more typical configuration would probably see a full missile load under the fuselage (but no bombs) that would see the design be at its loaded weight not long after the climb.

If we are just looking at maximum carriage capacity than that is not really accurate either though. At max fuel the F-35B would carry roughly 14,000 pounds of ordinance (or ordinance and external fuel) and is limited by its MTOW rather than its pylons which could carry more. At max fuel the EF could carry 17,000 pounds of ordinance assuming it is not pylon stress limited (a big assumption as those figures are classified and it was not designed as a strike fighter but a air-superiority machine so throwing a 2,000 pound weight mid-wing is not probably designed into it). The F-35A would theoretically carry 18,000 pounds or more of ordinance (it will be neither pylon nor MTOW restricted at full fuel but the published max ordinance load remains 18,000).

None of those maximum loads are all that realistic. The Eurofighter almost always carries fuel tanks (it has about half the internal fuel of the F-35A) which take up pylon space and impact weight. And no one is going to MTOW a fighter in most circumstances for a variety of reasons. I don't have payload and range curves for each aircraft (the information is surprisingly scarce as to what exactly the Eurofighter published ranges mean it is carrying as far as weapons and internal fuel) but I would suspect that with a similar load to what the F-35 carries internally the Eurofighter would have very similar range and worse handling characteristics as it would have to carry the bombs on the wings rather than internally.

For targeting the F-35 has internally a system at least equal to what the Eurofighter would have hanging externally (Lightening III pods) for target designation against moving targets. Hanging that designator eats up a pylon again reducing what you can carry. The F-35 also has 360 degree targeting and tracking capabilities which should make it a superior striker overall and be very helpful in the air to air realm.


User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 100, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8986 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 97):

What nobody is really mentioning is that the F-35 radars themselves may be jammed in the future. After all, the talk is about how well they'll do against sophisticated enemies. These are bound to have jammers and electronic warfare capabilities.

That is the heavily ignored aspect with the anti-F-35 crowd. The F-35 will pick up more capacity in the years to come just from software upgrades. There is so much potential built in for upgrades and enhancements... Im pretty sure I read somewhere of a laser based missile defense system that the F-35 has the capability support in the future.


The plain jane systems that cost so much less than the F-35... once you add in all the bolt on gear (targeting systems, jammers... etc), start jacking up the price heavily, bringing those jets within spitting distance of the F-35s cost, and you still dont have the stealth, range, and avionics of the F-35.


Saying dont buy the F-35 because radar tech SOMEDAY will defeat stealth is short sighted at best. 4th gen fighters are vulnerable NOW, at least you get a few decades of advantage. In a conflict over the next decade or so, that stealth will save lives, the pilots, and soldiers who will face a weakened foe due to decisive wins in defeating enemy air defenses quickly. Some day the entire Chinese army may be equipped with body armor defeating ammunition... that is not a reason to not buy body armor today.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 101, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8973 times:

The biggest proof that stealth is a characteristic of some value is that even potential adversary aircraft are being designed with it.

The Russians and Chinese may brag about defeating stealth but they are rushing out to develop the very same technologies and capabilities.

In any event, the question shouldn't be about stealth, it should be about what is appropriate for Canada. And here we need guidance from government. For example, does the government expect the RCAF to interdict Russian aircraft over the poles independently of the Americans? That would drive a requirement for more capable aircraft, if the Russians ever decide to throw up more than Bears. Or will we ever participate in a conflict where the Americans haven't already taken out every SAM/SAFIRE threat in sight?

The government (not just the current one, past ones too) has been poor with guidance on how force will be employed. Because of that, and a history of not getting new kit for 40 years, industrial benefits concerns, the F-35 is getting pushed forward.

But there needs to be this discussion on defence policy, doctrine and force employment. For example, if we're only getting gets for AA, the Typhoon might be more suitable. And maybe we leave the strike role to our allies, and get Apaches and Predators for combat support.

There may be more than one way to skin the cat. But first you have to define which cat you are skinning.


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 102, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 9039 times:

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 95):
It also means that conventional aircraft will be even more vulnerable. At least with a stealthy aircraft, it is less detectable until much closer in, which improves survivability.

This. The problem is that stealth is seen as an offensive ability today. But the reality is that military planners see stealth as enhancing survivability in the future. Sure, at some point, there will be tech that can pick out an F-35. But at that point, the 4th/4.5gen aircraft will get lit up like a christmas tree.


User currently onlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 103, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8992 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 99):
Meteor is a fine weapon against an F-15. It is less so against a low-observable target. The excess range is only good if the X-band radar of CAPTOR can target it and that is explicitly what low observable technology is designed to defeat (x-band radars that are on most fighters and targeting radars). Against legacy targets both will be equally as good (they will win virtually all the time). Against one another it will really depend on detection ranges. An AMRAAM has a standoff range something on the order of 100 miles and I don't think the Eurofighter is likely to have a solid contact on the F-35 at that point (again depending on angles and a variety of other things that impact detection range). And the F-35 has been fit checked for the Meteor. I believe with minor modifications it will fit internally is what I heard last time I looked into it.

Indeed. Against a legacy fighter, a F-35 will have the first look, first shot advantage. Ever since the first pilot took to the sky with a weapon, the pilot that sees his opponents first and can get into a position to shoot will have the ultimate advantage in a fight.

It is very likely that a Eurofighter won't detect a F-35 until much closer in and probably won't have a weapons lock until even closer. Meanwhile, a F-35 would have seen the Eurofighter from over 100 miles out and have already taken a shot at say, 40 miles in the no-escape zone of a AIM-120 (assuming we aren't talking about the -D model, which will be integrated into F-35).

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 96):
The US Navy has been more prudent and has not put all their eggs on the F-35 and is moving ahead with UCAVS, more new Super Hornets, new EA-16Gs and most wise, on new jammer technology, not just all on the F-35 like the USAF.

"To say that the AESA air-to-air radar has the same capabilities as a Next-Generation Jammer is mixing apples and oranges."

The AESA on the F-35, for example, is built to spot air and ground targets, with jamming capability as what Cmdr. Edgarton called a fortunate "by-product."

"It's optimized to be a targeting radar; the fact that it can also jam is fantastic," Capt. Thompson agreed. But the same basic AESA technology, with a differently sized antenna to generate different frequencies and wavelengths, "backed by different processing, different power, different cooling, and purposely built to be a jammer... would have much greater capabilities."

That's why the Navy sees the Next-Generation Jammer as critical.
.......
.......
So if the Air Force has bet wrong, and the F-35's stealth and jamming capabilities don't hold up against ever-improving radar systems, they may have to count on the Navy's electronic warfare investments, too.
http://defense.aol.com/2012/12/06/na...ated1

1. The USN has been reducing their Super Hornet buys. Right now, if there are no more orders for the next fiscal year, Super Hornet production will wrap up in about 2-3 years tops. If there was any movement to buy more Super Hornets and keep the line running, they need to order now in order to make sure that the long term lead items remain in production.

2. NGJ will also be fitted to F-35, so whatever upgrades to jammers and radars to other aircraft, it can be fitted to F-35. Remember the modular software architecture of F-35; it will be comparatively easy to roll new weapons and avionics into F-35 compared to any legacy aircraft.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 100):

The plain jane systems that cost so much less than the F-35... once you add in all the bolt on gear (targeting systems, jammers... etc), start jacking up the price heavily, bringing those jets within spitting distance of the F-35s cost, and you still dont have the stealth, range, and avionics of the F-35.

Also add in the added support, ISR, IFR, escort & its IFR, decoy, jamming, etc that is required for any legacy aircraft to do the same job as an F-35:

http://i619.photobucket.com/albums/tt271/SpudmanWP/1b77b29e.jpg

[Edited 2012-12-11 17:46:12]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 104, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8986 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 99):
I don't think the Eurofighter is likely to have a solid contact on the F-35 at that point (again depending on angles and a variety of other things that impact detection range).

It doesn't have to. The shooting aircraft doesn't even need to have it's own radar turned on. With data links, other radars can do that.

Besides this argument is totally silly, the RAF is not going to shoot meteor at it's own planes! You don't need a stealth plane to carry and shoot a meteor and shoot an an ENEMY aircraft. (vs. your own). With the kind of range Meteor has, stealth becomes a lot less useful and less important. Firing a meteor missile from a stealth aircraft is not better than firing one that is not. The missile and the target don't care.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 100):
Saying dont buy the F-35 because radar tech SOMEDAY will defeat stealth is short sighted at best. 4th gen fighters are vulnerable NOW, at least you get a few decades of advantage

That's not what is mainly being said. The reason against the F-35 is cost. F-35 is not in service now and won't be till about 2020. So compare defensive technology in 2020 against the F-35 when it actually enters service as opposed to today.

And the false claims that its cheaper to acquire and operate than brand new F-18s or F-15s, because XYZ. If you really believe that, where did the GAO go wrong then? The DoD never complained the GAO findings regarding the costs were wrong. And they dod complain about other findings - but not that.

Besides, alternatives to F-35 is not only well underway, it's already committed to:


The Air Force currently plans to upgrade and extend the service life of 300 F-16 aircraft at an estimated cost of $2.61 billion and the Navy plans to extend the service life of 150 F/A-18 aircraft at an estimated cost of $2.19 billion.11
Service officials have said that if the F-35 program experiences further delays, the services have the ability to expand the number of aircraft that are included in these programs.

In 2009, DOD and the Air Force were directed by statute and a committee report to provide reports on force-structure plans including alternatives such as buying aircraft and upgrading and extending the service life of selected aircraft.12 The Air Force reported on assessments of seven alternatives, which included buying between 150 and 300 new F-15Es, F/A-18 E/Fs, and F-16s, and upgrading and extending the service life of selected F-16s. The Air Force concluded that the cost for upgrading and extending the service life of current F-16s by 2,000 hours each would be 10 to 15 percent of the cost of procuring new F-16s, F-15Es, or F/A-18s. Extending the life of existing aircraft would provide 6 to 8 years of additional service and, according to the Air Force, provide essentially the same capability over that period as buying new legacy aircraft.

In response to a statutory requirement, in May 2011, the Navy submitted the results of a cost-benefit analysis comparing extending the service life of existing F/A-18 aircraft with procuring additional F/A-18 E/F aircraft.15 The Navy assessed six alternatives, which included various combinations of extending the service life of up to 280 F/A-18 A-D aircraft and procuring up to an additional 70 F/A-18 E/Fs. The Navy concluded that extending the service life of 150 F/A-18 A-D aircraft and buying 41 new F/A-18E/F aircraft would provide an acceptable inventory at a manageable level of risk.

Department of Navy, “Report to Congress on Service Life Extension of F/A-18 Aircraft” (May 13, 2011). This report was developed in response to a provision in the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 that required the Secretary of the Navy to conduct the cost-benefit analysis and submit a report prior to entering into a program to extend the service life of F/A-18 aircraft beyond 8,600 hours. See Pub. L. No. 111-383, § 114(a) (2011). The provision required the Navy to conduct the analysis in accordance with Office of Management and Budget Circular A-94. See § 114(a)(1). The report included comprehensive costs for each of the alternatives assessed. The Navy plans to complete the service-life extension work in fiscal year 2018.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...AFQjCNHdmF7scWzW9PPBbSb_LTKLSRKqCw


User currently offlinepusserchef From Australia, joined Apr 2010, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 105, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8887 times:

Theres certainly an advantages the RAAF acquiring 24 Super Hornets was;
Our Bae127 Hawks (Lead in Fighter Trainer) cockpit was designed for the purpose of progression into the Hornets (classic hornet), no doubt due to common cockpit layout between Classic and Super Hornets, theres an advantage and Commonality of supporting equipment. These arent the only things no doubt.
But i do disagree with a previous comment that Super Hornets will not be flying for the US until 2020. Thats only a service of about 12-15 years max, certainly not value there, im sure they will be flying for many years. i think if the F-35 keeps being delayed the US will purchase more to replace the classic hornets between the services.
The countries that do pull out may opt for reschedule of purchase in the future, still may not get their aircraft when they want. Yes i understand that the aircraft will be cheaper per unit later on in the build, but if everyone keeps deffering or cancelling earlier builds then who will get them? The US has relied on all other countries wanting to get in first so then they get the mature aircraft later.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 106, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8706 times:

The US Navy has not bet the farm on the F-35, as the USAF has. The USAF has not ordered a new fighter in many years, except for LRIP F-35s, and cancelled the X-45 UCAV.

While the US Navy has been receiving a slow trickle of new legacy fighters, including over 100 new dedicated electronic warfare EA-18Gs and developing the X-47B. This UCAV should be conducting carrier catapult take offs and carrier trap landings in a few months - Well ahead of the F-35.

Basically, the US Navy can operate without the F-35 for many years to come:

The Navy assessed six alternatives, which included various combinations of extending the
service life of up to 280 F/A-18 A-D aircraft and procuring up to an additional 70 F/A-18 E/Fs.
The Navy concluded that extending the service life of 150 F/A-18 A-D aircraft and buying 41
new F/A-18E/F aircraft would provide an acceptable inventory at a manageable level of risk.

- GAO

Canada and Australia should rip a page out of the US Navy's alternative F-35 strategy, IMHO.


User currently offlinepusserchef From Australia, joined Apr 2010, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 107, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8647 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 106):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 106):
Canada and Australia should rip a page out of the US Navy's alternative F-35 strategy, IMHO.

Um Australia is in thought process of alternative measures........ with possibilities of E and F Super Hornets. But what should be kept in mind is that there is NO OTHER COUNTRY that has the inventory like the US. Australia only has about 80 Classic Hornets not 500-600 (guesstimate of all A-D Hornets in US) plus.
You can even look back into the 60's and 70's when the F-111 program was continually being delayed, the RAAF lease F-4E's from the USAF until the F-111's came on line. So Im sure that things like this is being thought about daily........


User currently offlineYTZ From Canada, joined Jun 2009, 2006 posts, RR: 24
Reply 108, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 8594 times:

@ThePointBlank

This still comes down to capability desired. Yes, the F-35 will be less vulnerable going forward. But do we need that capability when in reality we rely on the US and the UK to take out every anti-air threat in the theatre before we start bombing?

The driving question comes down to foreign policy and defence policy. How much do we want to participate in future coalition missions and to what extent do we want to participate? Do we want to be capable of participating on Day One? Or are we content with letting the US and the UK handle the high-threat scenarios and we'll come in to do our token bomb runs?

The reality is that our history has been the latter. Gulf War: we took out ammo dumps and a ship and some CAP. Kosovo: we did counter-air and SEAD and tactical bombing. Libya: the US, UK and the French had pretty much taken care of their air defences before we showed up. So we did some tactical bombing.

Given that history, it's clear that we don't take a leadership role. And what little leadership we have shown (like in Kosovo) could be delegated to some other coalition partner bearing F-35s.

It may well be time to openly admit that we are slackers when it comes to participating in coalition ops and that we really aren't all that interested (as a country) in making anything more than token contributions. If that's the case, even Gripens will do.

But if we are serious, then they need to drop the shopping list that is the Canada First Defence Strategy, and study what level of contribution we will make on the world stage and buy capabilites accordingly. We might actually have more to contribute for example, by purchasing an aircraft carrier and equipping them with UAVs or Rafales and Super Hornets.

This is not just a question for the RCAF by the way. The Army still has tanks which proved handy in Afghanistan, but are utterly difficult to move. Maybe we'd be better off fieldling an LPH (like the HMS Ocean) and building marine battle groups equipped with Apaches and S-92 transports.

On the maritime front, we still don't have a firm role for the Coast Guard. Why for example will the AOPS patrol vessels be going to the navy? Is the RCN going to be about power projection or homeland defence? And if it's doing homeland defence, why do we have the CCG?

These are all complex questions. Neither the current Conservative or the previous Liberal governments have been all that interested in answering them. Instead, they buy kit based on price and industrial concerns almost entirely. Employment is a distant after-thought.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 109, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 8514 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 108):
But do we need that capability when in reality we rely on the US and the UK to take out every anti-air threat in the theatre before we start bombing?

Despite all the interesting and lengthy posts, that's a question that no one seems to want to take on, perhaps because the answer would mean no kewl shiny kinda-stealthy jets.

Another one is: is Canada actually scrapping its F35 purchase, or was that just a rumor or a talking point?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 110, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 8488 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 109):
Another one is: is Canada actually scrapping its F35 purchase, or was that just a rumor or a talking point?

From here, http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/...sted-at-45802000000-in-new-report/

"Government sources are at pains to point out that the F-35 is still an option. “If we rule out the F-35, Boeing increases its prices by 15%,” said one person familiar with the procurement process.

As the National Post reported on Nov. 23, the Conservative government is approaching other manufacturers seeking cost estimates and information on availability and capabilities.

The F-35 secretariat in charge of buying the CF18 replacements will then decide whether it needs to re-write the statement of requirement that dictates what the air force needs. If it does so, the government will move to an open competition in which the F-35 is sure to be a contender.

As Alan Williams, former head of procurement within National Defence, pointed out: Unless the government states that it is modifying its statement of requirement, it is not committed to a change in direction."

Also several interesting points in the article already mentioned in the thread,

"The report validates much of the costing done by National Defence. The acquisition costs are identical at $8.9-billion. DND calculates sustainment costs will be $7.3-billion, while KPMG says $15.2-billion. On operating costs, DND estimates $9-billion, whereas the accountancy firm calculates $19.9-billion.

But the vast majority of those cost differences can be explained by the different time-scales used – DND’s costs are for a 20-year period, while KPMG fulfilled the mandate given it by the Auditor-General to give Canadians a full costing over the 42-year lifespan of the F-35s."

Quoting pusserchef (Reply 105):
But i do disagree with a previous comment that Super Hornets will not be flying for the US until 2020. Thats only a service of about 12-15 years max,

Australian plans are for Super Hornet to go to 2025 which is 15 years. The original Super Hornet purchase, for delivery in 2010, was costed at $6 billion for purchase, training and maintenance for 10 years.

Early US Super Hornet airframes will start to see retirement very shortly for overall fleet management as many have flown a significant number of operational hours during the last 10 years. Obviously those manufactured post 2010 will be the last ones retired, probably around 2030-35 depending upon replacement availability.

On pricing for Super Hornets note news reports this morning that indicate new Super Hornets are expected to cost Australia over $100 million each. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nati...t-jsf/story-e6frg8yo-1226535732600


User currently offlineEagleBoy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1836 posts, RR: 2
Reply 111, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8331 times:
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Quoting powerslide (Reply 6):
The F-35. Its the future of the US air fleet and as our closest ally its the most logical choice. We could fly into any airbase in the US or Europe and not have to bring tones and tones of parts and equipment with us because they'll be available from an international pool of contractors. Can't do that with the Super Hornet or Eurofighter. People just don't understand that in the long run the F-35 is still the cheapest choice, no one has done a cost comparison of the other fighters. They see the massive cost of the F-35 as a stand alone price, I want to see the cost of operating the Super Hornet and Eurofighter for 30 years when everyone has already retired them.
y
So in your view the F-35 will be replacing the Gripen and Typhoon in all the European fleets? And apparently F-35 parts will be readily to hand in most Euro airbases? Better tell that to the Euro air forces currently taking delivery of Tranche 3 Typhoons and Super Gripens. And somehow I doubt the French will scrap their Rafale (which is technically semi-stealthy)

Turkey still operate their F-4s......years after the production line closed, as do Greece and Germany. While I admit that the F-4 is outlcassed they still seem to be able to field it years after the line closed. So your argument against the Super Hornet is lessened. Boeing will support their customers if there is profit still to be gained.

If RCAF can get the F-18E/F with a 30 years part and service contract why not take it. They can perhaps supplement these with F-35's in a few years to achieve a 70/30 Lo-Hi mix.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 21):
We aren't buying any fat hornets or any other useless pieces of garbage from Eurocanard land. So far its still a Canadian F-35 buy.

You sound completely unbiased in your views....

[Edited 2012-12-13 03:02:23]

User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 112, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8313 times:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 108):

Very well put...not to mention that we are talking about 65 frames, a very high figure in cost terms but a very low one from an operational point of view.

I'm always amazed that all this controversy is over only 65 frames. Makes one wonder how many copies of the F-35's distant future successor a country like Canada would afford, 30? 20? Just laughable really...


Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 113, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8164 times:

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 111):
So in your view the F-35 will be replacing the Gripen and Typhoon in all the European fleets?

What are you talking about? Current European Gripen operators aren't interested in the F35 any way.

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 111):
And apparently F-35 parts will be readily to hand in most Euro airbases?

Parts will be available in Europe through partner suppliers. Go read up on the global supply chain management system.

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 111):
Better tell that to the Euro air forces currently taking delivery of Tranche 3 Typhoons and Super Gripens.

Not going to talk about the Typhoon, that is a different discussion. As for the 'Super' Gripen, its nothing more than a paper airplane that no one wants. Just the fact that its based around an American Super Hornet engine shows just how behind the times it is. Countries are better off with the newest F16 or if they can afford to play in the big leagues, the F35. The Gripen E/F won't see much international attention.

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 111):
If RCAF can get the F-18E/F with a 30 years part and service contract why not take it.

If we can get the F35 with a 30+ year part and service contract then why not take that? Don't let your fanboism get in the way of facts. The Super Hornet is a fine aircraft that should have been ordered 5 years ago if it was to see service in Canada. It is too late.

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 111):
They can perhaps supplement these with F-35's in a few years to achieve a 70/30 Lo-Hi mix.

Can't afford a mix. Don't have the manpower either way.

Quoting EagleBoy (Reply 111):
You sound completely unbiased in your views....

You sound delusional or misinformed. Get with the times. Its almost as pathetic when people suggest the F15 Silent as Canada's answer.

Quoting faro (Reply 112):
I'm always amazed that all this controversy is over only 65 frames. Makes one wonder how many copies of the F-35's distant future successor a country like Canada would afford, 30? 20? Just laughable really...

We could afford more but we don't need more. I'd look at the state of your own country first before calling something laughable.......


User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 114, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8108 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 113):
Quoting faro (Reply 112):
I'm always amazed that all this controversy is over only 65 frames. Makes one wonder how many copies of the F-35's distant future successor a country like Canada would afford, 30? 20? Just laughable really...

We could afford more but we don't need more. I'd look at the state of your own country first before calling something laughable.......

It may interest you to know that I am a Canadian national having lived in Montreal for 8 years in the seventies. I was also a Canadian Air Cadet in the old Cartierville airport training center from 1976 to 1978 when my family left Canada to live in Europe.

The first time I ever flew in a light aircraft was with the Air Cadets and the first time I ever had a go at the controls was with the Air Cadets. My stay in Canada is one of extremely fond childhood memories, friends and experiences, including hours upon hours of drill practice in Cartierville. In the words of the great Canadian poet, Gilles Vignault, "My country isn't a country, it's winter my garden isn't a garden, it's the plain, my road isn't a road, it's the snow". That is a sentiment I wholeheartedly endorse.

My interest in this (and other) F-35 threads is therefore not fortuitous. It relates to me as a Canadian living abroad who is concerned by the well being of this our great country; denigration is not on my agenda.

It may also interest you to revisit that second sentence of my reply No 112: what is laughable is not the the fact that Canada (or the Netherlands, or Italy, or whoever) can't afford such or such an airframe. As you and I know, that state of affaires is not specific to Canada and does not derive from a Canada-specific shortcoming. What is laughable is the spiraling cost and complexity of state of the art fighters which to my mind have gone out of control. When a country of the importance of Canada can only afford 65 copies of its next generation fighter, one has to ask oneself where all this cost and complexity is leading us in the future. Given the state of public opinion as well as public finances (which are nonetheless in better posture in Canada than in other industrialised countries) something had to give...

As for Egypt, my "own country" as you say, a purchase of F-35's, were it ever to be approved, is economically out of the question. Which in several respects is probably not a bad thing...


Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 115, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8053 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 114):
What is laughable is the spiraling cost and complexity of state of the art fighters which to my mind have gone out of control. When a country of the importance of Canada can only afford 65 copies of its next generation fighter, one has to ask oneself where all this cost and complexity is leading us in the future. Given the state of public opinion as well as public finances (which are nonetheless in better posture in Canada than in other industrialised countries) something had to give...

It seems that way, but it really is not. This is just a continuation of trends that have been going on forever combined with a long period of relatively few threats and peace. Canada spent about 2% of GDP on defense during the Cold War and basically had an Air Force of 130ish F-18's by the end of the 1980's (The Voodoo's were all gone by 1987, the CF-104's the following year) and that was going to be the only fighter in operation.

Canada has cut its defense budget in half, to 1% of GDP and is now looking at buying (shock of shocks) roughly half as many F-35's as it did F-18's. Did the fighter get more expensive or did Canada just decide to spend less money. Also if we account for inflation the $35 million in 1977 US dollars Canada spent on CF-18's translates to $128 million in 2011 US dollars which is very roughly the price to buy a LRIP current lot F-35A with engine ($122 as of a contract expected to be signed Friday).

The reason Canada is getting half as many fighters is that it is spending roughly half as much money adjusted for inflation as it did when it bought F-18's.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 116, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8007 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 115):
The reason Canada is getting half as many fighters is that it is spending roughly half as much money adjusted for inflation as it did when it bought F-18's.

Indeed, but:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 108):
This still comes down to capability desired. Yes, the F-35 will be less vulnerable going forward. But do we need that capability when in reality we rely on the US and the UK to take out every anti-air threat in the theatre before we start bombing?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1824 posts, RR: 0
Reply 117, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8017 times:

Sweden went from a 600+ fleet to what about 80 active fighters today. I do wonder if all these cut backs will come back and bite us one day?

User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 118, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8003 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 116):
Indeed, but:

Quoting YTZ (Reply 108):
This still comes down to capability desired. Yes, the F-35 will be less vulnerable going forward. But do we need that capability when in reality we rely on the US and the UK to take out every anti-air threat in the theatre before we start bombing?

I don't disagree if that is the case, though it has really negative implications for Canada, NATO and NORAD in my view, but the point of what I said in the previous post was that the idea that the F-35 is bankrupting Canada by being too expensive relative to what they had before is silly. If Canada does not want F-35's then don't buy them. But relative to the cost of the CF-18's when they were bought the F-35 is currently a little bit cheaper and the price should keep dropping because I used the one that the US government is buying them for today during low rate production.

The one, and really only, thing impacting the buy size for whatever fighter Canada decides to purchase is its declining defense budget relative to its GDP. If the defense budget were where it was when the F-18's were bought it would have twice as much money and could buy the same number of F-35's as it bought F-18's. Canada bought what was basically a state of the art fighter when it bought the F-18 and can get another one for the same inflation adjusted price today.

You won't hear me argue that Gripen or new F-16's or Super Hornet or really anything you can buy today is not sufficient to police Canada's airspace. If that is all Canada wants to do then I would argue that the US should take a serious look at what exactly it is getting out of its arrangements with Canada because NATO really implies that we are all committed to just a bit more than our own self-defense. Frankly it reminds me of the guy who never wants to chip in for some food at happy hour because "he is not hungry" but always eats his share anyway. Eventually you just stop inviting him to come out.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 119, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7961 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 114):
When a country of the importance of Canada can only afford 65 copies of its next generation fighter, one has to ask oneself where all this cost and complexity is leading us in the future.

I don't think its affordability as it is requirement. I'm sure we could afford 100 or so F35s without breaking too much of a sweat financially, but I don't believe that we have the manpower to service and maintain that size of fleet. We currently have what, 20-25 CF-18s in the gun squadrons. There is no real shortage of pilots but the current attrition rate for techs would make any more than 20-25 F35s per squadron unrealistic. No one wants to make military pay when you can make an easy 100k in the oil sands next door. The CF is an employer like any other in Canada and right now they are losing hundreds of young people every year. For a Forces with only 65k it makes a big impact to operational capability and its starting to show.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 118):
If that is all Canada wants to do then I would argue that the US should take a serious look at what exactly it is getting out of its arrangements with Canada because NATO really implies that we are all committed to just a bit more than our own self-defense. Frankly it reminds me of the guy who never wants to chip in for some food at happy hour because "he is not hungry" but always eats his share anyway. Eventually you just stop inviting him to come out.

Agreed. Canada doesn't pull its weight to the defence of North America. Its mostly due to the mindset of 'well the US is next door and they'll protect us' of most Canadians. If I were the US I wouldn't sell anything other than the F35 to Canada.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 120, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7973 times:

Quoting powerslide (Reply 89):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 83):If I were an RCAF pilot flying a patrol over Northern CanadaI can count on both hands the amount of days our aircraft spent "patrolling" Northern Canada this year. Flying patrol missions in Northern Canada is another made-up reason the anti-JSF crowd in Canada are trying to pitch.

Really? Just how many times do you think the RCAF has flown CAP over Northern Canada this year? I would be interested in how you know all of that. You do understand that Russian Tu-95s have been flying attempted penetration patrols against Alaska and Northern Canada in recent years.

Quoting powerslide (Reply 89):
I don't know how much they will cost, but the idiots in the Canadian media seem to know more than Lockheed and governments. Recent numbers are $40B for 40 years. They like to use the larger timelines because it artificially increases the price and the stupid Canadians eat it up. Since the commitment to buy was announced the cost per year has only slightly increased while the aircraft cost has gone down. You have to be delusional to think you can predict how much an aircraft not in operation yet will cost you over 40 years.
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 92):
GAO did compare the F-35 to others using the same assumptions and metrics over the same periods of time. Nobody has every called them stupid. They are respected by all sides.

Correct. I would also be interested in how you think the cost per F-35 has gone "down" when everyone else like Lockheed/Martin, the US Congress, GAO, Canada, UK, Japan, Austraila, and even the US DOD are saying costs per airplane have and will continue to go "up". I see the F-35 flying (all 3 models) most days from my home here in Fort Worth, as they are built about 2 miles from my home. Most are unpainted yellow with teal colored sealents on the seams. They always fly with an F-16C/D or F/A-18C/D escort from NAS Fort Worth JRB (Carswell AFB).


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 121, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7860 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 120):
Just how many times do you think the RCAF has flown CAP over Northern Canada this year? I would be interested in how you know all of that.

I wonder how someone could get that information....   

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 120):
Correct. I would also be interested in how you think the cost per F-35 has gone "down" when everyone else like Lockheed/Martin, the US Congress, GAO, Canada, UK, Japan, Austraila, and even the US DOD are saying costs per airplane have and will continue to go "up".

Incorrect. Stop spreading misinformation.

Management of Australia’s Air Combat Capability—F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Acquisition ANAO Audit Report No.6 2012–13 | 24 Sep 2012
http://www.anao.gov.au/~/media/Files...udit%20Report%20No%206%20OCRed.pdf

""...As at June 2012, the JSF Program Office estimated the Unit Recurring Flyaway (URF) cost of a CTOL F-35A aircraft for Fiscal Year 2012 to be US$131.4 million. That cost includes the baseline aircraft configuration, including airframe, engine and avionics. The URF cost is estimated to reduce to US$127.3 million in 2013, and to US$83.4 million in 2019. These expected price reductions take into account economies of scale resulting from increasing production volumes, as well as the effects of inflation. The estimates indicate that, after 2019, inflation will increase the URF cost of each F-35A by about US$2 million per year. However, these estimates remain dependent upon expected orders from the United States and other nations, as well as the delivery of expected benefits of continuing Will?Cost/Should?Cost management by the US Department of Defense....""

http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd151/pushok85/f35cost_zps18292d2d.gif


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 122, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7820 times:

In 2007, 30 F-18E/F Super Hornets were bought by the US Navy for about $76 mill each, not only with engines, but with spare engines.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 115):
$128 million in 2011 US dollars which is very roughly the price to buy a LRIP current lot F-35A with engine ($122 as of a contract expected to be signed Friday).

That is not the anywhere near the total price for LRIP-5 frames. If you add up all the non development LRIP-5 contracts awarded by the DOD to acquire LRIP-5 frames, it adds up to over $200 million per frame, easy. The engine contract alone, awarded in 2011, comes out to about $38 million per engine.

Even with the substantial reductions in near-term production quantities, DOD still plans to procure 365 aircraft for $69 billion before developmental flight tests are completed.
- GAO. June 2012 - GAO-12-437

That works out to $169 million per plane on average, not counting development costs. And that's counting very rosy assumptions and projections of cost reductions, that never seem to come. And you think LRIP-5 costs are $122 million per frame? Want to buy the Brooklyn bridge?

Here's a bit of history, assuming a bunch of projected cost savings, per unit cost is calculated as,

In 2009 GAO estimated $104 Million per unit recurring cost - for full production model (Not LRIP)
In 2010 GAO estimated $112 Million per unit recurring cost - for full production model (Not LRIP)
In 2011 GAO estimated $133 Million per unit recurring cost - for full production model (Not LRIP)

Take all LRIP-5 contracts awarded since 2010 together and we arrive at over $200 million per frame. And we still will have millions more to spend per frame, to modify them so they are up to scratch. If anyone thinks LRIP-5 costs are anywhere near $122 million per frame, then they think LRIP-5 frames are cheaper than full production models in 2019.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 121):
the JSF Program Office estimated

Since when do they have any shred of credibility left? They've been so wrong for so long, that what they estimate and project is really irrelevant. For instance, their estimated development period for the F-35 has ballooned from 10 years in 2001 to 16 years today....and counting.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 123, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7785 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 122):
Take all LRIP-5 contracts awarded since 2010 together and we arrive at over $200 million per frame. And we still will have millions more to spend per frame, to modify them so they are up to scratch. If anyone thinks LRIP-5 costs are anywhere near $122 million per frame, then they think LRIP-5 frames are cheaper than full production models in 2019.

I don't claim to be a forensic accountant. I just know what I have seen written a few places. Cost do seem to be stabilizing and coming down.

http://www.4-traders.com/BAE-SYSTEMS...ers-by-4-percent-sources-15591215/

As for the engine cost we will have to see. A new engine contract is pending. Should be interesting to see what happens.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 122):
Here's a bit of history, assuming a bunch of projected cost savings, per unit cost is calculated as,

In 2009 GAO estimated $104 Million per unit recurring cost - for full production model (Not LRIP)
In 2010 GAO estimated $112 Million per unit recurring cost - for full production model (Not LRIP)
In 2011 GAO estimated $133 Million per unit recurring cost - for full production model (Not LRIP)

I think more importantly is that as of June of 2010 the GAO put the cost for the F-35 at $133 million average across the life of the program and as of March of 2012 it put the cost at $137 million. That is a very small change that suggest that, whatever happened in the past, cost projections are stabilizing as the program moves ahead. The report basically suggest that the increase from 2010 to 2012 in unit cost can be attributed to moving purchases to the right which drives up unit cost a bit but in the eyes of the GAO which explicitly states reduced the short-term risk of concurrency.


User currently offlinechecksixx From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1095 posts, RR: 0
Reply 124, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7794 times:

F/A-18E/F's were going for $111M in FY 2011. WAY too much IMO...price should be going down for a superbug, not up!

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 125, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 7767 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 123):
As for the engine cost we will have to see. A new engine contract is pending. Should be interesting to see what happens.

If you are truly interested, here it is:

http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contract.aspx?contractid=4275

United Technologies Corp., Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded an advance acquisition contract with an estimated value of $138,800,000 for long lead components, parts and materials associated with the Lot V low rate initial production of 22 F135 conventional take-off and landing propulsion systems for the Air Force; 13 short take-off and vertical landing propulsion systems for the Marine Corps; and 7 carrier variant propulsion systems for the Navy.

And there's more.

There are many such long lead contracts for LRIP-5 aircraft that were signed long ago. Some people conveniently forget them.


The far bigger cost problem is not even the expensive acquisition cost, it's operating and support cost:

The sustainment affordability target for the Air Force’s CTOL ($35,200 per flight hour) is much higher than the current cost for the F-16 it will replace ($22,500 per flight hour, both expressed in fiscal year 2012 dollars).
GAO-12-437 Joint Strike Fighter, June 2012

[Edited 2012-12-13 23:14:20]

User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 126, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7653 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 118):
You won't hear me argue that Gripen or new F-16's or Super Hornet or really anything you can buy today is not sufficient to police Canada's airspace. If that is all Canada wants to do then I would argue that the US should take a serious look at what exactly it is getting out of its arrangements with Canada because NATO really implies that we are all committed to just a bit more than our own self-defense. Frankly it reminds me of the guy who never wants to chip in for some food at happy hour because "he is not hungry" but always eats his share anyway. Eventually you just stop inviting him to come out.

What the US is getting is a buffer zone between itself and Russia, thus will always want Canada as a partner.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 119):
Agreed. Canada doesn't pull its weight to the defence of North America.

Relative to what threat?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 120):
You do understand that Russian Tu-95s have been flying attempted penetration patrols against Alaska and Northern Canada in recent years.

A threat that is best defended by larger numbers of less expensive fighters.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 120):
I would also be interested in how you think the cost per F-35 has gone "down" when everyone else like Lockheed/Martin, the US Congress, GAO, Canada, UK, Japan, Austraila, and even the US DOD are saying costs per airplane have and will continue to go "up".

Because of the source:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 121):
JSF Program Office estimated

Holy Father, what do you think of Catholicism?  
Quoting Powerslide (Reply 121):
However, these estimates remain dependent upon expected orders from the United States and other nations, as well as the delivery of expected benefits of continuing Will?Cost/Should?Cost management by the US Department of Defense....""

Ahh, the old "keep the funding rolling and we'll fix it, we promise!" logic, sigh... 



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2131 posts, RR: 4
Reply 127, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7790 times:

From Aviation Week.com:

"Australia, dropping its commitment to operate only Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightnings in its future air combat fleet, will ask the U.S. for the price of a second batch of 24 Boeing Super Hornets .

Seems to me we have a tale of two countries . . .

When you are much closer to the fire (China and the Spratley), you have much better focus on your wants and needs.   

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 128, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7620 times:

Well in regards to how the Typhoon could deal with a F-35, a moot point since no nation likely to be an enemy is likely to deploy them. There is the prospect later on of Russian and Chinese types being used by potential opponents, however are they even near having the sort of advertised stealth and sensor capabilities, even after the airframes get near to IOC?
If you think the F-35 has had delays wait till you see those programs.

The Primary RAF 'first day of the war' weapon is the combat proven Storm Shadow missile. It will in time be integrated on Typhoon, the out of service date of it's current platform the Tornado GR.4, of 2019, being an incentive.
On any F-35 version it would have to be externally carried. Luckily it's a LO platform with a long range.

The UK sees the Typhoon and F-35 as complementary.

For all that, in the case of Canada, the F-35 still seems far and away the most logical long term choice.


User currently offlineTheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2039 posts, RR: 6
Reply 129, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7567 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 120):
Really? Just how many times do you think the RCAF has flown CAP over Northern Canada this year?

The Canadian Forces have been increasingly active in the arctic, and they will continue to increase arctic ops and sovereignty patrols as the Territories get busier. In fact, ALPA met with the senate committee this past week to discuss aviation infrastructure, or the lack there of, up north. The general consensus was that the government needs to make the Territories a primary focus.



No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 130, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7557 times:

Feds told truth on F-35: Opposition really about clipping air force wings | Columnists | Opinion | Winnipeg Sun

Quote:
You are being lied to about the cost of fighter jets, except the lying isn’t being done by the government.

If you’ve paid attention to the news at all lately, you’ve heard about the “rising costs” of replacing Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 fighter jets with the new F-35.

Initial government costs to buy the plane came in at $9 billion, but this week headlines screamed about the cost being $46 billion.

What a load of garbage.

A report from auditing firm KPMG, commissioned by the government, said the full cost of the plane, from development through operating and on to decommissioning, was $45.8 billion.

That estimate includes fuel, pilots and maintenance — all things that would need to be paid for regardless of which plane is purchased.

It is a strange form of accounting that says we need to account for every shoelace and jug of windshield washer fluid that might come near the planes.

Can you imagine what the cost of your car would be if you calculated its cost over decades, including estimates of every brake job, oil change and fill-up?

We don’t do this for other government programs or purchases, yet the opposition and the media demand that this is the only true way to account for military purchases.

When a previous Liberal government promised a new national daycare program, no one asked what it would cost over 40 years.

In fact, the F-35 program was signed on to by the Liberals and no one asked back then how much this would cost over four decades.

Here is something remarkable you haven’t seen in the headlines.

The report from KPMG found that the government had been telling the truth from the beginning: The cost to just buy the planes was less than $9 billion.

There are plenty of areas to criticize this government about when it comes to spending, but fighter jets that we haven’t purchased just isn’t one of them.

The money hasn’t been spent and even if we do buy the F-35, it will be money well spent compared to other budget items.

National defence is actually a responsibility of the federal government under the constitution unlike, say, running a television network or giving out corporate welfare under the guise of “economic development.”

If we accounted for the cost of CBC and economic development the same way the opposition and media demand we account for the F-35, both would cost more over the next

40 years than the fighter jets.

What this is really all about is an attempt to make sure that Canada does not have a suitable military.

There is a significant segment of the population that thinks the military should just do peacekeeping, search-and-rescue and snow removal in Toronto.

This part of Canada doesn’t want us to have fighter jets or a military capable of going into battle if need be.

Unfortunately, a large part of the media and both opposition parties fall into this camp.

Sure, they will tell you they are worried about the cost, but then will say we need to look at fighter jets other than the F-35.

We did exactly that on my show Byline and found that the alternatives to the F-35 cost as much or more than the plane we should apparently avoid.

This fight of the last few months isn’t about whether we should buy the F-35.

It is about whether we should have a properly equipped military.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 131, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 7504 times:

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...g-us-weapons%3A-caveat-emptor.html

Each time the US military decides a modification or upgrade to its F-35s, foreign customers will have to follow suit, at whatever cost Lockheed and the Pentagon decide, or else see their aircraft become obsolete as US technical support shifts to the newer version.
......................

In fact, the situation will be infinitely more serious in the case of the F-35, as export customers will not have access to the aircraft’s source codes, nor to its more advanced maintenance methods and equipment, because all but the most basic maintenance will be carried out by Lockheed Martin in its own facilities in the United States.
................

Furthermore, while the four European nations were able to upgrade their F-16s to Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) standard by themselves, in Europe, they will not even be allowed to fully maintain their F-35s. That is the degree to which national sovereignty will erode with the F-35.
.................
The Pentagon estimates that, over its entire 50-year service life, its fleet of 2,443 F-35s will cost about $1.51 trillion (as in $1,510 billion) to buy and operate. This works out, by simple division, to an average of $618 million for each and every aircraft it buys.

This figure, based on a “calculations made by the Cost Assessment Program Evaluation (CAPE) office, includes operating and maintenance costs of $1.11 trillion, including inflation, and development and procurement costs of $332 billion for the aircraft, plus $63.8 billion for the engine,” as Reuters reported in April. And this is assuming costs, which have already doubled in a decade, do not increase further.

By the same token, operating and maintenance costs work out to $454 million per aircraft ($1.11 trillion/2,443).

So, prospective European buyers, already shell-shocked by price tags of over $200 million for early production F-35s, would do well to reflect carefully on the likely cost of operating the aircraft over several decades.

The Dutch government, for example, stated in 2001 that operating and support (O&S) costs for its planned fleet of 85 F-35As would total €2.9 billion over 30 years. Yet, the latest report by the Algemene Rekenkamer, the state auditor, estimates that the Dutch F-35 fleet, now reduced to 68 aircraft, will cost €13.2 billion to operate and support for 30 years.

This figure works out to €194.1 million per aircraft, or about $254 million at today’s exchange rate. Although this is almost six times higher than the figure originally quoted in 2001, it still falls well short of the $454 million in O&S costs that the US estimates for its own F-35s.

And this is why buying into a US weapons program without fully measuring the consequences is a bit like stepping into quicksand: easy to do but difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.


This does not mean each F-35 will last 50 years, rather that the type will be in service in various numbers for 50 years.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 132, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7356 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
If F35 was available at the promised time and on the promised budget it'd be a better purchase, but that just isn't where we are at.

+1

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 56):
It's OK to support the F-35, but at least be honest about the cost. Otherwise, most people won't believe anything you say, IMHO.

+1

And about development progress. I don't think LM have been honest in forecasting develpment progress. And I suspect that LM's assessment of future production costs leans towards the most optimistic presumptions possible. In a nutshell, I have no confidence in any information concerning F-35 development or costs released by LM.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12561 posts, RR: 25
Reply 133, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7288 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 130):
That estimate includes fuel, pilots and maintenance — all things that would need to be paid for regardless of which plane is purchased.

Not true: the training and support infra is largely in place for Super Hornets.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 130):
What this is really all about is an attempt to make sure that Canada does not have a suitable military.

Riiiight.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 134, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7224 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 133):
Not true: the training and support infra is largely in place for Super Hornets.

In the US it is.


User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3555 posts, RR: 26
Reply 135, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7213 times:
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Quoting Powerslide (Reply 134):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 133):
Not true: the training and support infra is largely in place for Super Hornets.

In the US it is.

using/subscribing to US training and infrastructure would be cheaper than duplicating them for a few dozen a/c regardless of whether they buy F-35's or Super Hornets...

aside from that I always wonder at the 30-50 year economic studies for military a/c as though they were commercial airliners.. one thing that upsets it is frequency of use.. and type of use... I get the impression most fighters are worn out practicing.. and when a event occurs it's let's see how many are operational. Then again the Boeing's and LM's of the world are out there designing and tweaking new stuff that effectively promotes a design obsolescence every 20 years. If the 4 or 5 major players got their collective acts together with staggered implementation and technology advancement, that could drop to 10 years.. expensive as hell, but defense isn't their object, the company's profit is.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 136, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7189 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 135):
using/subscribing to US training and infrastructure would be cheaper than duplicating them for a few dozen a/c regardless of whether they buy F-35's or Super Hornets...

We would always have our own training program specific to our Air Force needs. Everything we do is completely different to the US Navy, from training, maintenance and manuals. Just look at basic aircraft servicing, it takes only one Canadian tech to do a quick turn around on a jet while it takes at least 5 for a US Navy one. We don't have the luxury of unlimited manpower so we have to adapt and train to do more with less.


User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 137, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7194 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 135):
one thing that upsets it is frequency of use.. and type of use... I get the impression most fighters are worn out practicing.. and when a event occurs it's let's see how many are operational.

What actually happens is when a conflict occurs there are always enough airframe hours left, what changes is enough money becomes available to ensure every airframe is repaired and serviceable.

Quoting kanban (Reply 135):
Then again the Boeing's and LM's of the world are out there designing and tweaking new stuff that effectively promotes a design obsolescence every 20 years.

They are responding to the procurement cycle. Look at aircraft purchases over the last 30 years. Has any design that either Boeing of LM proposed, and paid for out of their own pocket, being accepted?

Quoting kanban (Reply 135):
but defense isn't their object, the company's profit is.

This solution may cost more but is also produces the best product. By generating profits the respective companies attract the smartest people through financial incentive and cutting edge research, Boeing and LM already compete with the Fortune 500 for skilled, talented and innovative workers.

Making government contracts not for profit would in the long run do more harm to Defence procurement than the few tax dollars it would save, moving innovators to industries where their ideas and hard work are rewarded . What is your alternative, state owned corporations?


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 138, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6705 times:

The critics' noises are becoming more non sense and bullvine than anything. They seem to be complaining just for the sack of being heard.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Whe...ill+best+option/7709995/story.html

Quote:
The F-35 fighter jet is not dead.

Fevered reports to the contrary, there is every chance that when a review of the options is probably completed by Public Works Canada by next fall, the F-35 stealth fighter may still be at the top of the shopping list.

Following the F-35 fracas from Egypt, where truly momentous political events are being debated, the hysteria in Canada over the F-35 seems rather quaint. Most of what critics have written and said about the Joint Strike Fighter has been just as confusing and misleading as what the Harper government has had to say about it since a Liberal government got Canada involved in the project.

Although already nearly 15 years old, Boeing’s fourth generation F-18 Super Hornet is the only serious rival to Lockheed Martin’s fifth generation F-35 Lightning. But as argued by the National Post’s John Ivison, the clear leader on the F-35 story for months, the Super Hornet has far less of a cost advantage than the JSF’s critics have led the public to believe. In fact if Canada were to buy the two-seat electronic warfare variant of the Super Hornet or a mix of that model and the attack version, it might not be cheaper at all.

The “life cycle costs” of the F-35 — development, acquisition, sustainment, operations, attrition and disposal, including fuel and air and ground crew — have been described in Canada in apocalyptic terms. Here, the analogy to a car purchase is apt. When you buy a car for $30,000, you’re paying for the development of that car, a profit for those making it, and for the car itself. Few people budget for the fuel, maintenance or insurance costs over the vehicle’s “life cycle.” But they know keeping the car on the road for ten years will cost roughly double the purchase price. Since we buy military equipment for longer life cycles — in this case 42 years from 2010, although the international standard for measuring this has usually been 20 years — those costs increase in step. Hence, misleading headlines such as that the “F-35 costs five times original estimates.”

Nor have fair cost comparisons been done with other big government-funded enterprises such as the CBC, which as Sun Media has noted, will have cost taxpayers more by 2052 than whatever new fighter jets Canada eventually purchases.

Also lost in the hullabaloo over life cycle costs was that number crunching by KPMG that was presented to Parliament last week indicated that cost estimates prepared several years ago by National Defence were accurate.

If opponents of the F-35 had examined the cost of the alternatives — as they should have and as the government should have — they would have long ago realized that there are no “cheap” options. The four other frequently mentioned contenders have list prices equal to or greater than the F-35 — and none of them is classified as a “stealth” aircraft. According the U.S. Department of Defense, Boeing’s Super Hornet costs $88 million per aircraft, which is identical to KPMG’s estimate for a F-35. According to Australian reports, the latest batch of Super Hornets that Canberra may buy will cost more than $100 million each.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence lists the Eurofighter Typhoon at $115 million per aircraft. France’s Rafale costs from $80 to $120 million each depending on the model. Sweden’s Gripen E was just purchased by the Swiss air force for $100 million per plane.

It is not hard to find critics of the F-35 outside Canada. There have been doubts about its stealth technologies, its computer coding, assembly line delays and cost overruns. However, only in Canada has the debate over the potential purchase of 65 JSF’s been so out of whack.

With far less noise Australia, which still intends to acquire as many as 100 F-35s, has purchased a couple of dozen Super Hornets to make up for F-35 delays and is considering buying a couple of dozen more. The difference in Oz, which has a smaller economy than Canada’s, is that there has long been all-party and media maturity about defence procurement issues. Nor has there been much bombast over F-35 costs in tiny Norway, Denmark or Singapore, just gritty acceptance that this has become the cost of doing national defence.

The frenzy over the F-35 is reminiscent of the attention that Afghan torture allegations got several years ago. Remember those charges that Canadian soldiers were complicit in war crimes? The Red Cross, which is responsible for such matters, never found evidence to warrant even beginning an investigation. But critics have never set the record straight, nor will they.

Critics had insisted that Canada’s allegedly criminal behaviour in Afghanistan would cost the Tories dearly at the polls. As it turned out, this issue only excited Parliament Hill. Through two federal election campaigns the alleged mistreatment of Afghan detainees on Canada’s watch was never raised by voters.

There are similarly dire predictions today about the political consequences that will result from how the government has handled the F-35 file. Well, good luck with that.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 139, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6690 times:

I didn't know that:

Neither the F-35B nor the F-35C have a cannon.
That the F-35B can carry less than 2,000 lbs internally
That the F-35B and F-35C are limited to 7.00G and 7.50G, respectively. While the F-16 and Rafale M (Marine version) are 9 G aircraft for example, as are many other legacy fighters.

Those limitations are already baked in.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 138):
Boeing’s Super Hornet costs $88 million per aircraft, which is identical to KPMG’s estimate for a F-35.

The total cost will be much higher than $88 million for the F-35. The GAO estimates around $137 million, if all the assumptions pan out - which to date they haven't. But there's always hope.

What far more costly than the price however, is the cost to operate the beast. Operating costs are going to eat up budgets alive, as it is well documented by several parties that the operating costs will far exceed all legacy aircraft in operation today - by far. So this cost becomes an important point.

The article makes the analogy to an auto purchase and as if the operating costs of cars is not an important buying criteria and its marketability. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and others built their companies around the low operating costs of their cars. That was and still is their main calling card.

Ignoring F-35 operating costs and failing to budget that expense or projecting the effect that would have on the budget, is foolish. The author takes people for fools by making it seem as if that were stupid. After all, operating costs are about 70% of the total costs. Hardly something anyone should ignore.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 138):
Few people budget for the fuel, maintenance or insurance costs over the vehicle’s “life cycle.”

Yes they do. Most buyers go so far as to take the projected resale value into account, when making a purchase decision on a car. To say operating costs are not very important to car buyers is delusional.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 140, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6641 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 138):

According the U.S. Department of Defense, Boeing’s Super Hornet costs $88 million per aircraft, which is identical to KPMG’s estimate for a F-35.
Quoting Powerslide (Reply 138):

Sweden’s Gripen E was just purchased by the Swiss air force for $100 million per plane.

How much confidence can one place in a report stating Switzerland has bought Gripen E at a cost of $100 million each?

How also would 65 F-35's cost about $9 billion according to KPMG if according to KPMG each would cost $88 million?

[Edited 2012-12-17 15:15:54]

User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 141, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6627 times:

Sweden and Switzerland could sign a firm contract as early as 2013 if Switzerland has no referendum on the Gripen deal, or by mid-2014 if the country decides such a vote is necessary. The Swiss government is scheduled in October to submit details of the Gripen program for parliamentary debate.

Switzerland will make a first payment to Saab of 300 million francs in 2014. The remaining payment schedule will be decided when the final contract is signed, Maurer said.

The Gripen is the best fit for Switzerland because “it was designed as a defense aircraft for a neutral country,” Maurer said. The Gripen was “significantly cheaper” than competing offers and is the “sensible solution” rather than “the top of the top,” Maurer has said.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...l-as-sweden-guarantees-timing.html

More exact cost figures were offered in July 2010 by Gripen technical director Eddy de la Motte, who quoted less than $3,000 per flight hour for Sweden’s Flygvapnet, and “for the export customers it will be less than $5,000, including maintenance, spare parts, fuel and manpower.” On its face, that’s stunning. By comparison, the USAF places the per-hour cost of an F-15 at $17,000 [PDF]. Even given a likely mismatch between direct flight costs, and figures that include allocated life cycle costs including depot maintenance, etc., that is a big difference. Switzerland is one customer where that difference appears to have been decisive. Swiss evaluations reportedly rated the Gripen at roughly half the O&M costs expected for its twin-engine Rafale and Eurofighter counterparts.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...ns-4th-generation-wild-card-02401/

Defense leadership stated in 2011 that sustainment cost estimates at this time were unaffordable and simply unacceptable in the current fiscal environment. In March 2012, the Department established affordability targets for sustainment as well as production. The sustainment affordability target for the Air Force’s CTOL ($35,200 per flight hour) is much higher than the current cost for the F-16 it will replace ($22,500 per flight hour, both expressed in fiscal year 2012 dollars).


And not to speak of the F-35's $35,200 hourly operating costs, per GAO. The beast will eat budgets alive.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...s31ws9mNOA&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.cGE

[Edited 2012-12-17 16:03:59]

User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 142, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6584 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 141):

And not to speak of the F-35's $35,200 hourly operating costs, per GAO. The beast will eat budgets alive.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...s31ws9mNOA&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.cGE

[Edited 2012-12-17 16:03:59]

Tommy, would it not be appropriate to add the following sentence from the GAO to your quote above?

Program officials noted that there are substantive differences between legacy and F-35 operating and funding assumptions which complicate direct cost comparisons.

If you look at the respective platforms there are clear differences in what is considered part of the airframe and what is not. This will change the per hour operating cost. For instance, the F-16 per operating cost would not include any of the additional targeting, ECM or self-protection pods that are required for operational service. The F-35 has these things already included on the airframe, artificially inflating the per hour operating cost.

Cost per hour is also an incredibly nebulous metric to grade aircraft, not only for what I said above but also because the minute you compare two different militaries the comparisons become meaningless as no two militaries (and even the respective US services) operate, maintain or cost account their aircraft the same.

Quoting art (Reply 140):
How much confidence can one place in a report stating Switzerland has bought Gripen E at a cost of $100 million each?

How also would 65 F-35's cost about $9 billion according to KPMG if according to KPMG each would cost $88 million?

When you buy a plane you do not just buy a plane, you buy all the other associated ground systems and infrastructure as well. Look at the Australian Super Hornet purchase, the total contract was approximately $6.6 billion dollars, roughly split half for operating costs over 10 years and half for acquisition. 24 Super Hornets at approximately $60-80 million each equal approximately $2 billion. Where does the other $1.3 billion go? It goes to things like targeting pods, weapons, simulators, new hangars, initial training programs, overseas travel and exchanges, program offices etc etc.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
Neither the F-35B nor the F-35C have a cannon.

The info has been around for 10 years. It should not be a surprise. Both aircraft can use the cannon externally. The external mount has already undergone initial flight testing.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
That the F-35B can carry less than 2,000 lbs internally

You do know this, you have already mentioned it on this forum a number of times over the last few years.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
That the F-35B and F-35C are limited to 7.00G and 7.50G, respectively. While the F-16 and Rafale M (Marine version) are 9 G aircraft for example, as are many other legacy fighters.

Again this info has been known publicly for 10 years at least. That the F-35C is only at 7.5G should not be a surprise, considering that the USN's current and previous fighter aircraft are all rated at 7.5G or less including all Hornets and the F-14. Different aircraft use their EM in different ways, the Hornet turns better slower due to its wing design and call pull greater AoA while the F-16 turns better at faster speeds due to its hard wing and lower AoA. Different attempts at the same problem.

The beauty of the F-35A is that, according to test pilot reports, it combines both Hornet and F-16 turning capabilities, so a turning ability at fast and slower speeds with the AoA of a Hornet or F-22. The penalty it pays for 9G capability is it can't land on a carrier like the F-35C nor can it take off or land vertically like the F-35B.

What the F-35 also provides is no limitation on pulling Gs when internal ordinance is loaded. So although the Rafale and F-16 are notionally 9G aircraft, they typically cannot pull those G loads with external ordinance.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 881 posts, RR: 11
Reply 143, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6540 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 128):
Well in regards to how the Typhoon could deal with a F-35, a moot point since no nation likely to be an enemy is likely to deploy them. There is the prospect later on of Russian and Chinese types being used by potential opponents, however are they even near having the sort of advertised stealth and sensor capabilities, even after the airframes get near to IOC?

I am in 100% agreement. I just believe that if the UK is in a situation where the choice is paying out for large scale upgrades to the Typhoon in the 2020 period or buying F-35A that the later solution will make the most fiscal sense to them.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
That the F-35B can carry less than 2,000 lbs internally

I am pretty sure that the F-35B can carry around 2,600 pounds internally with two AAM's and two 1,000 pound bombs. That is a fairly useful ordinance load for that type of aircraft. You could also carry 6 SDB's or 8 SDBII's. Seems fairly reasonable for a STOVL model really.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 144, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6498 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 142):
If you look at the respective platforms there are clear differences in what is considered part of the airframe and what is not. This will change the per hour operating cost. For instance, the F-16 per operating cost would not include any of the additional targeting, ECM or self-protection pods that are required for operational service. The F-35 has these things already included on the airframe, artificially inflating the per hour operating cost.


Even if you want to lump the extra operating cost of such pods in with the airframe operating costs of legacy aircraft, I highly doubt the extra operating costs make much of a difference either way. If you have a link to prove what you are saying is true, please provide a link, thanks.

Dollars and Budgets don't care why the operating costs of the F-35 are what it is. It is indisputable it is far higher than legacies. And not even the Lockheed or the DoD have rationalized the extra operating costs on what you say here. The GAO Knows what it's doing. The differences are so large it's crazy. You also forget the GAO is using rosy assumptions in favor of the F-35 supplied from Lockheed and the DoD, which have so far way off the mark in the negative on every metric. F-35 operating costs could easily come in way worse than they predict, if their record is any guide.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 142):
Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
That the F-35B can carry less than 2,000 lbs internally

You do know this, you have already mentioned it on this forum a number of times over the last few years.

No, I always thought the F-35B could carry at least up to 2,000 lbs - not less. The A and C can carry up to 4,000lbs, as far as I know - not the B. And I personally was not aware of the other things that I said are new to me. Why would I say that if it weren't true? You seem to know more about me than me. Interesting. This gets weirder and weirder.

And you remake the laws of physics. If an F-16 capable of 9G and an F-35 capable of only 7.5G are flying the same profile, there is no way the F-35 can turn as tight as the F-16 can, if they both have the energy to do so. The F-35 would have a far greater turn radius. It's simple physics. It has nothing to do with AoA. From your comments, I am pretty sure you don't understand how AoA factors in here nor where it is important.


User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 145, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days ago) and read 6497 times:

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
Neither the F-35B nor the F-35C have a cannon.
That the F-35B can carry less than 2,000 lbs internally
That the F-35B and F-35C are limited to 7.00G and 7.50G, respectively.

Who cares what the B and C can or cannot do. Canada is acquiring the Air Force version so stop trying to deflect the thread with useless info.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
The total cost will be much higher than $88 million for the F-35. The GAO estimates

The GAO report is not the end-all magic estimate. In the end its just that, an estimate that is just as good, or worthless, as any other. It's quite laughable that you pin your entire argument based on that one document.

Quoting tommytoyz (Reply 139):
Yes they do. Most buyers go so far as to take the projected resale value into account, when making a purchase decision on a car. To say operating costs are not very important to car buyers is delusional.

When buying a new car you have no idea how reliable it will be, nor how much fuel will cost for it. People bought all those trucks and SUVs when gas was low, then in a span of a year or two they became unaffordable to drive because of gas prices. When I bought my car I knew the basic maintenance/dealership costs but as far as major repairs it was the luck of the draw. Some people had zero issues after 60k while others went through engines like tires.

Only people who are delusional are those who believe they can predict future operating costs. All you can do is base it off your current fleet and adjust based on serviceability. (the older the airframe gets the more maintenance it will require). There is no reason why the F35 will cost more to operate in the first decade or two compared to a 30-year old fighter fleet.


User currently offlinetommytoyz From Tonga, joined Jan 2007, 1353 posts, RR: 6
Reply 146, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6462 times:

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 145):
stop trying to deflect the thread with useless info.

I will post what I want, not what you want.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 145):
When buying a new car you have no idea how reliable it will be, nor how much fuel will cost for it.

Ok, speaking for yourself, perhaps you have no idea. Fair enough.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 145):
When I bought my car I knew the basic maintenance/dealership costs but as far as major repairs it was the luck of the draw. Some people had zero issues after 60k while others went through engines like tires.

Power train warranties? In the USA for one, there are warranties. Maybe not in Canada? Cost reputation and fuel mileage economy? Perhaps it means nothing to you...but cars are marketed this way around the world, because it is effective and buyers rightly do pay attention to these expenses.

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 145):
Only people who are delusional are those who believe they can predict future operating costs

Yeah OK, right. GAO and all government entities, foreign and domestic, that have made an attempt to project operating costs are delusional. Ok, right. Including the USA DoD and Lockheed. Everyone but you is delusional. Ok, right.


User currently offlineart From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Reply 147, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6433 times:

Quoting Ozair (Reply 142):
Quoting art (Reply 140):
How much confidence can one place in a report stating Switzerland has bought Gripen E at a cost of $100 million each?

How also would 65 F-35's cost about $9 billion according to KPMG if according to KPMG each would cost $88 million?

When you buy a plane you do not just buy a plane, you buy all the other associated ground systems and infrastructure as well. Look at the Australian Super Hornet purchase, the total contract was approximately $6.6 billion dollars, roughly split half for operating costs over 10 years and half for acquisition. 24 Super Hornets at approximately $60-80 million each equal approximately $2 billion. Where does the other $1.3 billion go? It goes to things like targeting pods, weapons, simulators, new hangars, initial training programs, overseas travel and exchanges, program offices etc etc.

Fine - the Oz figure includes all costs over the service life of the aircraft.

Gripen E - the Swiss deal includes a lot more than 22 Gripen E. I don't know how the publication came up with a figure of $100 million per aircraft. I have never seen such a figure mentioned elsewhere.

F-35 - the $88 million includes what (if anything) in addition to a flyaway F-35?

The publication is rooting for the F-35 and IMO inaccurately rubbishes everything else costwise.